Skip to main content

Full text of "Origins of modern German colonialism, 1871-1885"

See other formats






Volume XCVIII] [Number 1 

Whole Number 223 





Instructor in History at Teachers College 
Columbia University 


'r V 

Ntvo Work 

New York : Longmans, Green & Co. 
London : P. S. King & Son, Ltd. 


Copyright, 1921 








" Germany renounces in favor of the Principal Allied 
and Associated Powers all her rights and titles to her over- 
seas possessions." * 

The Great War brought to an abrupt conclusion the 
colonial history of modern Germany. It is a history whose 
facts are now complete, but whose story is as yet untold. 

The present study is an effort to write the first chapter 
of the story, to trace the beginnings of modern German 
colonialism. It is designed to embrace only the first fifteen 
years of the empire and to include nothing in the history of 
Prussia, except in so far as Prussian influence affected im- 
perial action. 

To be sure, the years from 1871 to 1885 antedate the 
adoption of official colonization; for it was not until April 
24,1884. that Bismarck ^proclaimed imperial protection 
over the settlements of the merc hant L u deritz in Southwest 
Africa ; yet these earlier years are important in two respects. 
Abroad, they marked the first steps of expansion which 
generally introduce in any country a colonial policy, such 
as the establishment of trading stations, factories, planta- 
tions, naval bases and favorable commercial treaties. At 
home, in Germany, the first fifteen years of the empire con- 
tained beneath their surface the motives and forces, the 
tendencies and currents which actuated colonial expansion. 
Any history of the movement would be far from complete 
without a study of its primary causes, its dominating in- 
fluences, since they imparted to it distinctive characteristics 
which persisted throughout the life of imperial Germany. 

1 The Treaty of Peace with Germany, 1919, article 119. 
7] 7 


The available material on German colonization, especially 
that in English, deals almost exclusively with the external 
aspect; it affords only fleeting glimpses of the elements and 
forces, the groups and parties, at work within the nation, 
which were responsible for outward activity. Such a point 
of view, moreover, conveys the impression that the German 
Government imposed a colonial policy upon the nation on 
April 24, 1884; and consequently that modern German 
colonialism dates from that year. Only a few brief ac- 
counts of any colonial activity before 1884 seem to exist, 
and hence the strength and significance of the internal 
movement remains underestimated. 

The present study proposes to concern itself primarily 
with the internal history of colonialism. It is based upon 
such sources as the Reichstag Debates, White Books, 
government documents, records and letters of Bismarck, 
official publications of colonial and other societies, as well 
as propaganda literature, programs of political parties, 
periodicals, newspapers, histories of trading and banking 
companies. It has been necessarily limited to material 
available in the United States, as German archives have 
l>een inaccessible for several years; but the value of the 
documents in the Columbia University and New York 
Public Libraries, the Congressional Library, and the Hohen- 
zollern Collection in the Harvard University Library, have 
made less serious the impossibility of consulting sources 
only to be found in Germany. 

The writer is glad of this opportunity to express her in- 
debtedness to Professor Carlton J. H. Hayes whose work in 
German History has inspired this study. For his constant 
encouragement and advice as well as for his patient and 
laborious correction of manuscript and proof she is deeply 
grateful. She is also under obligation to Professor Charles 
D. Hazen whose kind interest, assistance and criticism she 
acknowledges with sincere appreciation. 



Preface 7 


Colonialism and the National Mind 

A new German psychology in 1871 13 

Conditions favorable to the colonial idea 13 

National unification. . . 13 

Navalism 14 

Results of the Industrial Revolution 15 

Conditions unfavorable to the colonial idea 17 

Opposition of the Government 17 

Prevailing economic theory of laissez-faire 19 

General indifference 20 

Summary 20 

The Theory of Colonialism 

The existence of a definite colonial theory in 1871 22 

Elements of the theory 22 

The German tradition of colonialism based on general German 

history and Prussia's colonial efforts 23 

Contributions of historians ... 26 

Contributions of political scientists . . 28 

Contributions of emigration societies 30 

Contributions of explorers and natural scientists 31 

Contributions of missionaries 33 

Failure of theoretical colonialism to influence Government .... 35 

Summary 35 


The Rise of Commercial Colonialism: Direct Action versus 

the Power of Ideas 

The silent development of commercial colonialism beneath theo- 
retical colonialism 36 

9] 9 




Survey of the achievements of commercial colonialists 36 

In Africa 37 

In the South Seas ,g 

In South America 42 

Demands of commercial colonialists for government protection . . 43 

Petitions from merchants and traders . . . 44 

Propaganda 47 

Petitions from consuls 4g 

Work of the Centralverein fur Handelsgeographie und Deutsche 

Interesse itn Auslande 5! 

Summary e 2 


Government Reaction to Commercial Colonialism and the 

Appearance of a Colonial Party 

Government response to the demands of the commercial colonialists. 54 

The inadequacy of " diplomatic guardianship " 56 

The resulting political and economic crisis in the South Seas . 57 
Changed attitude of Government toward commercial colonial- 
ism evident by 1879 62 

Manifestations of a new policy of protection 63 

Official protests against the interference of other nations . 63 
Treaties of trade and amity with Tongan and Samoan Is- 
lands 64 

Establishment of a quasi-protectorate in Samoa 74 

Indirect protection to commercial colonialism 74 

Effect of the changed policy of Government upon the colonial party. 76 

Reasons for confidence in their position . . 77 

Their demand for a state-directed colonialism 80 

The appearance of a definite colonial party in the Reichstag. . 82 
Coalescence of colonial enthusiasts throughout country under the 

leadership of commercial colonialists 82 

Summary 83 


Colonialism a National and Political Issue 

The task of the colonial party to make colonialism a national issue. 85 

The three methods 85 

Propaganda and counter propaganda 86 

The achievement of political identity: the colonial party a sup- 
port to Bismarck 99 

! ! ] CONTENTS 1 1 


Identification of commercial colonialism with administrative 

speculation overseas 109 

Summary 112 

The Test 

The introduction of the Samoan Subsidy Bill into the Reichstag.  113 

The antecedents of the bill 113 

The reasons for its being a test-case of colonialism 114 

The intention of the Government to inaugurate a colonial policy by 

the bill 115 

Analysis of Bismarck's attitude 118 

Analysis of supporters' attitude 119 

The opposition to the bill 121 

The rejection of the bill 124 

The press comments as reflecting the attitude of the country . . . 125 

The results of the bill's failure 128 

The effect on Bismarck 128 

The effect on the colonial party and movement 131 

Summary 134 


The Triumph 

The partnership of the Government and colonial party in winning 

popular support for colonialism 136 

Work of the colonial party .... 136 

Formation of Kolonialverein 137 

Renewed propaganda 145 

Activity overseas 148 

Work of the administration IS 1 

Bismarck's diplomatic caution 152 

Bismarck's direct and indirect support of colonialism 154 

Bismarck's creation of chauvinism in Germany to launch a 

state-directed colonialism 160 

In the South Seas 161 

In Africa 163 

The first act of a state-directed colonialism— the telegram of 

April 24, 1884 169 

Lack of national support for a colonial policy 169 

Summary 169 




National Inauguration of State-directed Colonialism 

The parliamentary struggle over the Steamship Subsidy Bill . . . 170 

The connection of the bill with colonialism 171 

The supporters of the bill and of Bismarck 172 

The opposition 174 

Bismarck's campaign against the opposition 178 

Great colonial activity 178 

Presentation of a limited colonial program 179 

The arousing of a nationalistic patriotism 182 

The rapprochement with France 185 

The Congo Congress 185 

The parliamentary deadlock 187 

Bismarck's quarrel with England 188 

The Chancellor's success 191 

National inauguration of a state-directed colonialism 192 

Summary 192 


The dominating forces responsible for modern German colonialism, 

The influence of the economic class 194 

The influence of Bismarck 195 

Characteristics of modern German colonialism largely due to the 

circumstances of its origin 195 



colonialism and the national mind 

The founding of the German empire in 1871 not only 
remade the map of Germany, but it also reconstructed the 
national mind. The psychology of the new Germany in 
its relation to overseas expansion is, therefore, important as 
a point of departure for any study of the origins of modern 
German colonialism. 

Many circumstances conspired to direct the German mind 
of 1 87 1 to the thought of colonization. In the first place! 
the intense nationalism and patriotism engendered by the 
wars of unification found a natural outlet in enthusiasm fork 
expansion. Now that Germany had become a nation, she,' 
like the other great states of Western Europe, must express 
her self -consciousness in the extension of her nationalism to 
a colonial empire. She too must pass through her phase of 
overseas expansion and the impression of her individuality 
upon other lands. Furthermore, those Germans who had 
left the Fatherland in its days of weakness and insignifi- 
cance, — the days of the German Confederation, — to es- 
tablish their lives and fortunes abroad, desired now to be 
united again to a glorified Germany. After 1871, it meant 
something to be able to say " Ich bin ein Deutscher Burger." 
Petitions even from Latin America demanded the establish- 
ment of German naval stations in Bolivia, Ecuador and 
Costa Rica. The passion of nationalism worked two ways, 
both centrifugally and centripetally, towards the encourage- 
13] 13 


ment of colonial foundations. Moreover, after the succes- 
sion of triumphs from 1866 to 1871, Germany was over- 
flowing with an exuberant energy and needed a single aim, 
a fixed purpose toward which to direct it. What could 
serve better as an objective than colonial expansion? 

Another result of the wars of unification had been the 
impetus given to the growth of a navy. Germany had 
proved herself supreme on land ; why not strengthen herself 
upon the sea ? j A navy necessitates naval bases and coaling 
•stations, hence colonies. Both Prince Adalbert of Prus- 
sia, Chief of the Navy, and Vice-Admiral Livonius, 
[strongly advocated their acquisition. 1 And, as the enthus- 
iasm for naval greatness grew, it paved the way for colonial- 

A further stimulus to navalism, besides the national 
motive, was an awakened trading instinct. Since Germany 
had won the right to be a nation, she remembered her com- 
mercial ancestry and tradition ; she began to exalt the Hanse 
towns. In the eighteen-seventies, German overseas com- 
merce was considerable, and commerce always demands pro- 
tection. A gradual growth of the navy commenced during 
these early years: in 1871, Wilhemshafen became a naval 
base on the North Sea; 2 on December 31, 1871, the Prus- 
sion Ministry of Marine became the Imperial Admiralty; 
and in 1874 a navy bill, providing for eighteen gun boats 
and twenty smaller ships, passed the Rckhstag with no op- 
position. 3 

The growth of the navy and its results proved of the 
utmost importance in the history of colonization. " Officers 
of the navy now stood shoulder to shoulder with diplomats, 

1 Livonius, Unsere Flotte (Berlin, 1871). 

2 Koschitzky, Deutsche Kolonialgeschichte, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1887), 
vol. i, p. 155. 

3 Anlagcn des Dcutschcn Reichstagcs, 1874, Aktenstuck, no. 62, p. 770. 


intellectuals and traders, to further colonial expansion." 
Indeed in 1875, Vice-Admiral Livonius compiled a report! 
recommending the immediate need of colonies. He showed) 
that Germany had not attained what England had, be- 
cause of government neglect, and he urged that since Ger- 
many had now achieved unity, it was high time that she 
acquired colonies. 1 The Government suppressed Livonius' 
report, however, pigeon-holed it and prevented its publica- 
tion until 1885, because Bismarck feared it might precipitate 
political difficulties with other nations. The Vice-Admiral 
also urged the advisability of placing Zanzibar under German 
protection and of establishing a protectorate in East Africa. 
Likewise, Prince Adalbert of Prussia, who was called the 
" Builder of the German Fleet " and who did everything in 
his power to advance the navy, thought that the two policies, 
naval and colonial, should go hand in hand. He became 
General Inspector of the Navy in 1870, went to England to| 
study shipping in 1873, an d was thus a person of knowledge 
and authority. 2 As he expressed it, " For a growing people, 
there is no prosperity without expansion, no expansion 
without an overseas policy, and no overseas policy without 
a navy." 

Possibly more conducive to the thought of colonialism than 
the political influence of a triumphant nationalism, was the 
economic condition of Germany from 1870 to 1875. Given 
a country, strong and united after years of division and 
weakness, given the introduction of the Industrial Revolu- 
tion with its consequent manufacturing and commercial 
boom, augmented by the billion-dollar war indemnity from 
France, and given the resulting over-production of all 

'Lewin, The Germans and Africa: Their Aims on the Dark Continent 
(London, 1915), p. 31 ; vide, also Livonius, Kolonialfragen (Berlin, 1885). 

* Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, vol. xlv, p. 788. 



kinds of commodities, what circumstances could be more 
favorable for colonial expansion ? The era of security after 
1870 developed industry and trade to a remarkable degree, 
as is too well established to need further exposition here. 
But the fact must be emphasized that the "commercial in- 
stinct is the origin of all colonial conquest," and hence a 
veritable hot-house atmosphere for the culture of the 
" colonial idea " existed. 

Furthermore, the extraordinary over-development and 
over-production led to speculation and inflated values, as is 
also too well known to need elaboration. The agrarian 
crisis coincided with industrial misery; ten thousand peas- 
ant proprietors were sold out each year by the Department 
of Justice; the new industry, thanks to free trade, was 
submerged under England's products; French merchandise 
triumphed; the sum available for industry from the war 
indemnity had been exhausted and the terrible crisis and 
panic of 1873 resulted. Again we must concern ourselves 
only with the effect of this state of affairs upon the national 
mind in relation to colonialism. The necessity of financial 
recuperation was widely felt. When conditions proved 
too narrow at home, both for capital and labor, again 
there loomed large the opportunity for expansion abroad. 

Such was the character of the national psychology in 
so far as it was receptive to the thought of colonization. 
As we have seen, certain factors influenced the German 
mind of 1871 to entertain the idea of overseas expansion. 
These were: an enhanced national consciousness expressed 
by Germans both at home and abroad ; a swollen purse re- 
quiring objects for expenditure, and then a depleted purse 
in need of large dividends regardless of risk; an abnor- 
mally inflated production demanding outlet markets; mush- 
room industries clamoring for raw materials ; an overstocked 
labor market using emigration as a saf ety- value ; and finally, 


an ever growing navy promising protection to oversea ven- 
tures and investments. Assuredly, such influences would 
seem to have produced a mental atmosphere most propitious 
for the growth of any idea of colonialism. 

We must consider, on the other hand, the unfavorable 
elements in the national psychology which were inimical 
to the notion of expansion throughout those early years. 
Here we find definite obstacles and hostile factors. In* 
the first place, there was the absolute opposition of the 
Government and the ruling class; for colonial policy in- 
volved expense, friction with other powers, perhaps war; 
it would inevitably interfere with Bismark's well known 
scheme to secure the hegemony of Germany in Europe by< 
concentration upon the strengthening of internal resources; 
and the maintenance of friendly relations with England. < 
Indeed, on January 9, 1868, the Chancellor wrote to von 
Roon: "All colonial enterprise must be left to private in- 
dividuals ; all the advantages claimed for the mother country 
are for the most part illusions. England is abandoning her 
colonial policy; she finds it too costly .... Germany has 
no navy and conflicts with other powers are inevitable." 1 

It is apparent that the writings of colonial partisans as 
well as the press propaganda worried Bismark at the time, 
because he ordered the press to announce that the North 
German Confederation contemplated no annexations and, 
also, because he instructed Consul von Weber, in Samoa, 
to avoid scrupulously anything which might lead to a mis- 
understanding with the United States. 2 He was not at all 
certain how the sentiments for expansion would be inter- 
preted abroad. He was consistent, therefore, when he re- 1 
fused the colony of Mozambique which Portugal offered 

1 Zimmermann, Geschichte der Deutschen Kolonialpolitik (Berlin, 
1914), p. 6. 

2 Ibid., p. 9. 

l < 


ifor purchase, 1 as well as the protectorate proffered by the 
bultan of Zulu in 1867. 

After the battle of Sedan, Bismarck had an excellent 
opportunity to secure colonies had he desired them : on 
October 23, 1870, Theophile Gautier, an Under-Prefect, 
came to him from the Empress Eugenie, to propose that 
Germany take Strassburg and its vicinity, Cochin China 
and two million francs, instead of Alsace-Lorraine, but 
Bismarck would not consider it. 2 Gautier then suggested 
that Alsace-Lorraine be made a buffer state; whereupon 
Bismarck replied, "If the king and I return home without 
having secured Alsace-Lorraine unconditionally, we should 
be received with stones," which indicated that the acquisition 
of colonies was apparently a predominant desire neither 
of the administration nor of the large majority of German 
)eopleJ When, during the peace preliminaries at Versailles 
>n February 9, 1871, France again offered to relinquish her 
:olonies in China and elsewhere in place of Alsace Lorraine, 
lismarck replied, " I will have no colonies. For Germany 
to possess colonies would be like a poverty stricken Polish 
nobleman acquiring a silken sable coat when he needed 
shirts." 3 

At this time, Bismarck seemed either to fail to realise 
the value of colonies or else to prefer to postpone their ac- 
quisition until the nation was stronger. The latter opinion 
appears the more correct, in view of the political situation at 
the time. Engrossed first in his task of unifying and 
centralizing the empire, then absorbed in his bitter struggle 
with the Church, Bismarck had little opportunity to apply 

1 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. I. 

'Cannstatt, " Fiirst Bismark's Kolonial Politische Initiative," Zeit- 
schrift fiir Kolomalpolitik, June, 1908, p. 438. 

, Poschinger, Bismarck als Volkswirt, 3 vols. (Berlin, 1889), vol. i, 
P. 63. 




himself to external expansion. Furthermore, the guiding 
principle of his foreign policy, the isolation of France and 
the maintenance of friendship with England, would inhibit 
any activity likely to cause friction with foreign Powers, 
especially when Germany's navy was not strong. 

Moreover, with the exception of a few such personages 
as Bucher, Prince Adalbert and Admiral Livonius, he 
lacked the support of official circles for any colonial policy. 
Politicians, ministers and bureaucrats, the practical states- 
men of the day, did not possess sufficient sympathy, under- 
standing and imagination to appreciate the movement for 
colonies which, as we shall see, was in a very embryonic 
and experimental stage. As a class they were too conserva- 
tive to venture on untrodden paths. 

In the second place, the prevailing economic doctrine off 
the times, that of laissez-faire, would also prevent colonial 
expansion. This was the era of the ascendency of the 
National Liberal party and Bismarck was under the in- 
fluence of the free traders, who considered colonies an 
anachronism. To have fostered anything at variance with* 
the free-trade principle overseas would also have aroused 
the antagonism of England. To be sure, a small group of 
economists, composed of List, Wappaus, Wagner, and 
Roscher, had begun twenty-five years before to break away 
from the Manchester School, and to urge a colonial policy ; 
but the predominant national school o>f political economy in 
Germany did not yet regard even German emigration from 
anything but the cosmopolitan view-point. Friedrich 
Kapp, a well known representative political economist of 
the time, who became Government Commissioner for 
Germans in the United States in 1866, emphasized entirely 
the cosmopolitan idea. 1 He was the author of several books! 


1 Allgemeine Deutsche Biographic, vol. li, pp. 32, 33. 


on emigration which showed no interest whatsoever in a 
narrow, nationalistic colonialism. 1 

Lastly, from Bismarck's own lips we have the statement 
| that " No country should engage upon colonial activity, 
unless a strong public opinion supports it; " - and when in 
these first years, public opinion was not avowedly opposed 
to colonialism, it was indifferent. The following sentiments 
may be termed fairly characteristic of most Germans who 
thought on the subject at all. 

Colonialism is a sad political anachronism. The voices which 
would persuade us to take this dangerous, neck-breaking course 
have become less as the nation grows more powerful. There is 
no room for German colonies now. Even other countries which 
have had colonies have wearied of them. Colonies are only out- 
lets for business. . . . Germany has a constant stream of emi- 
grants going out to enrich the world. It is claimed that this is a 
national loss and should be stopped. But these emigrants keep 
alive the German spirit and should not be interfered with, either 
to direct or to hinder. 3 

Desire for colonies should be considered chimerical. They are 
an anachronism. The advantages of colonialism are very few and 
the expense very great. Beyond our frontiers, we wish to seek 
nothing but peace.* 

In summary, we may say that the national psychology 
resulting from the unification of the empire was influenced 
by certain political and economic factors in favor of colon- 
ization. On the other hand the effect of these factors would 
seem to be far outweighed by the hostility of the Govern- 

1 Vide Kapp, Aus und Uber Amerika (Berlin, 1876). 

2 Hahn-Wippermann, Fiirst Bismarck, 5 vols. (Berlin, 1891), vol. v, 
p. 4- 

'Lammers, Dcutschland nach dem Krieg: Idcen cu eincn Programme 
Nationaler Politik (Leipzig, 1871). 

*Cheradame, La colonisation et les colonies allemandes (Paris, 1005), 
p. 28, quoting from Meyers, Konversation Lexikon, art. " Kolonieen." 


ment, by the inauspicious international situation, by the 
dominant', antagonistic economic thought of the day, and 
by the apathy of a large proportion of the German people. 
In the main, the German national mind during the early 
years of the empire did not regard with approval the adop- 
tion of an imperial colonial policy; indeed it was distinctly 
opposed to any idea of expansion overseas. 

The Theory of Colonialism 

It has often been said that England built up her colonial 
empire in " a fit of absent-mindedness," which aptly des- 
cribes the lack of any pre-conceived plan of British expan- 
sion. To apply this statement to Germany, however, would 
be to convey a wholly erroneous impression ; for the German 
colonial empire was acquired with presence rather than 
absence of mind. While it may be an English character- 
istic to construct a policy to fit the facts, it is indeed a dis- 
tinctive habit of the Germans to formulate, at the very out- 
set, an abstract theory as a guide to practice. 

During the early years of the empire, colonial expansion 
was predominantly an idea, projected and promulgated by 
the so-called doctrinaires and intellectuals, as well as sup- 
plemented by certain definite currents within the national 
life. To be sure, the belief manifested itself in different 
ways: with some of its exponents, it assumed the form of 
a general national policy to be preached and urged; with 
some, a vision to be realized at a future time; while with 
others, it seemed a compelling necessity for immediate action. 
Whatever various means of expression conveyed the idea, 
they all united, nevertheless, to form a distinct colonial cult, 
whose existence at the dawn of the empire is evident to the 
most superficial observer. 

A closer scrutiny of the colonial theory reveals its various 
elements. In the first place, the nucleus was a national 
| tradition of expansion conferred upon the new Germany as 
22 [22 


a heritage from Prussia and extending back to the emigra- 
tory propensities of the earliest Teutonic tribes. 

Both the general history of Germany and the specific 
colonial experiments of Prussia contributed to the founding 
and fostering of the tradition, of which our survey must 
be very brief. To begin with the thirteenth century as a 
point of departure : — the Teutonic Knights commenced to 
supply an historic background: they penetrated eastward 
and achieved conquests in the Baltic lands. Animated by a 
keen religious zeal, they added the impulse of romance to the 
tradition. Later, the Hanse Merchants succeeded them J 
with their world-renowned exploits. Although theyj 
founded their settlements and far-flung factories only in 
the interests of trade and not for colonization, strictly so- 
called, still they imparted a strength and tenacity to the 
tradition of colonialism and they made it one of peculiar 
and lasting influence. Down through the centuries, even 
into the twentieth, the fame, the initiative, the striking 
success of the Hansards have survived as favored subjects 
of German pen and tongue. In the fifteenth century, more- 
over, Germany boasted an explorer and cosmographer, a 
friend and contemporary of Columbus and Magellan, 
Martin Behaim of Nuremberg. He traveled under the pat- 
ronage of the Portuguese, but bequeathed to his native town 
a globe of the known world. Germans like also to recall 
the memory of the Augsburg Welser, who in the middle 
of the sixteenth century, under Charles the Fifth, under- 
took to colonize Venezuela as a military conquest, " without 
any serious prospects of commercial advantage." 

Specific Prussian activities supplemented the general 
background of German history and made the colonial tradi- 
tion far more real. 1 Prussian colonialism be^an in the 

-& c 

1 Cheradame, op. cit., passim. 


seventeenth century. The Great Elector was early in- 
spired with imperial ambitions and attempted to realize them 
even before the treaty of Westphalia. He established an 
East India Company as early as 1647 an d granted it a 
charter; but the company existed only on paper. In 1650, 
he purchased from the Danes Tranquebar and the Fort of 
Danesburg, both situated on the southeast coast of India; 
but he was soon obliged to relinquish them because he had 
no resources with which to protect and maintain them. 

Meanwhile, the Great Elector sent out an expedition to 
l reconnoitre the coasts of Guinea in 1676- 1677, for he had 


built up a considerable navy in his efforts to consolidate 
"his new possessions on the Baltic Sea, after 1648. The 
result was a treaty concluded with the native chiefs; it 
placed under the Great Elector's protection the territory 
on the Gold Coast between Axim and the Cape of Three 
Points. The Great Elector then founded in 1682 a Com- 
mercial Company to which he gave a monopoly of trade on 
this coast for twenty years. In 1683, the agent of the 
Company, Frederick von der Groeben, established a factory 
and built the Fortress Gross Friedrichsburg. Two years 
later another agent built two more forts and the natives of 
Taccorary placed themselves under Prussian protection,, 
which greatly excited the envy of the Dutch. In 1686, 
negotiations for a naval base on Arguin Island were con- 
cluded, and concessions for the Company were secured from 
France and Holland by the treaties of 1683- 1685. The 
port of Emden, where the business was centralized, was 
enlarged and the operations of the Company extended to 
Hamburg. All these efforts, however, met with very 
mediocre results. At the end of four more years, the Com- 
pany's capital had to be increased by one-quarter in order 
to enable its enterprises to survive at all, and the Prussian 
Government was obliged to come to the rescue. But the 


Dutch were all powerful on the coast of Guinea and in 1687, 
picking a quarrel with Prussia, they seized the territory oc- 
cupied by her, a calamity which almost synchronized with 
the death of the Great Elector. 

His successor, Frederick the First of Prussia, had no in- 
terest whatsoever in colonies, save in the pleasure he took 
m receiving the negro ambassadors from Guinea. The 
fortunes of the Company went from bad to worse. After 
laborious efforts the restitution of its territories was 
secured, but financially it was ruined. In 1691, its debt 
amounted to 900,000 thalers and the Prussian treasury had 
again to come to its rescue. The War of the Spanish Suc- 
cession created a new enemy, the French Corsairs, who 
together with the Dutch were a menace to the African set- 
tlements. Finally Frederick William the First, in 171 7, at- 
tempted to retrieve the situation by transferring the rights 
of the African Company to the East India Company, an 
expedient which proved entirely without success. More- 
over, the French in Senegal and the Dutch in Guinea re- 
newed their attacks upon Prussian territory in 1720. 
Frederick William, however, had a greater desire for money 
wherewith to pay his soldiers than for overseas expan- 
sion, and accordingly, in 1725, he ceded to the Dutch all the 
Prussian African interests for the small indemnity of 7,200 
ducats; and Prussia disappeared from Africa. 

The Great Elector's efforts in America and the Orient 
met with the same failure. In 1685, he attempted an estab- 
lishment in the Antilles and by a contract with the Danes 
gained a part of the Island of Saint Thomas, where he tried 
to maintain a slave station; but this enterprise lacked the 
support of his successors and the land reverted to the Danes. 
The East India Company somewhat revived after Prussia 
had gained a foothold in Africa but its efforts to improve 
conditions there in 1 717 finally ruined it. 


Thus the Prussian colonies of the seventeenth century 
had only an ephemeral existence : they were imposed from 
above and were at no time in favor with or supported by the 
nation; their collapse was "the failure of a strong initia- 
tive to overcome the prejudices of a whole people." The 
Great Elector was obliged to depend on Dutch agents, the 
country was too young to support colonization overseas, and 
it encountered too strong rivals in the field. Prussia's 
colonial history ended in 1725. It left no durable trace 
and people even forgot the efforts of the Great Elector. 
Nevertheless, when another colonial enthusiasm arose in the 
late nineteenth century, it proved convenient and expedient 
for its exponents to hark back to the general history of 
Germany and to the imperial ambitions of Prussia, and to 
revive them as a national tradition. They had certainly 
pointed the way both figuratively and geographically, and 
could easily serve as a precedent for new imperial aims. 
Indeed, the very fact that the early attempts had failed, 
largely because of powerful rivals, provided another argu- 
ment for the new Germany, in her fresh, united strength, to 
attempt a retrievement of that failure and to achieve a 
triumphant realization of what might be readily represented 
and accepted as a great national ambition. 

In the second place, professors, historians, and political 
scientists contributed to the colonial idea by voicing the 
national tradition. Their writings and influence established 
the theory of colonial expansion as a positive, prevailing 
doctrine in intellectual circles during the early years of the 
empire. Indeed, for thirty years before 1870, the greatest 
German thinkers had been pointing out the necessity for 
expansion, and the later minor protagonists merely re- 
flected the ideas already formulated by their forerunners. 
Their theory of national expansion received neither support 
n< >r sympathy from official and commercial classes, at first, 
and was thus mainly restricted to the university world. 


Treitschke and Droysen represented the view of nation-', 
alist historians and naturally urged the expansion and pro- 
jection of German nationality. Treitschke especially had 
an enormous influence. He was appointed to a chair in the 
University of Freiburg-im-Breisgau in 1863, subsequently 
going to the Universities of Kiel, Heidelbeig and finally, in 
1874, Berlin. Added to his academic was his political 
influence, for he entered the Reichstag in 1870 where he re- 
mained for nearly twenty years. As everyone knows:, 
Treitschke stood for the Pan-German doctrine in its fullest 
extent and taught that Germany's most pressing need was the j 
acquisition of colonies. It is merely a crystallization of hi 
earlier teachings, when he writes in his Politics : x " Peopl 
from elder states, who have been disciplined, go out and 
found new states .... Every virile people has established 
colonial power .... All great nations in the fulness of , 
their strength have desired to set their mark upon barbarian 
lands and those who fail to participate in this great rivalry 
will play a pitiable role in time to come. The colonising 
impulse has become a vital question for every great nation." 
He preached with brutal frankness that Germany should 
prepare for the eventual seizure of the British colonies in 
order that Teutonic influence should be supreme. : ' Eng- 
land's colonial policy has not been fortunate at the Cape 
of Good Hope). The civilization which exists there is 
Teutonic, is Dutch .... If our nation had the courage 
to construct with determination, construct an independent 
colonial empire, a collision of our interests and those of 
Engfland would be unavoidable. 2 In this centurv of 
national states and of armed nations, a cosmopolitan trad- 
ing power such as England can no longer maintain herself 

1 Treitschke, Politics (Berlin, 1898), translated by Dugdale and 
DeBille (London, 1916). 
2 Treitschke, Deutsche K'dmpfe (Berlin, 1879). 


!'or any length of time." J In 1885 ne nierely confirmed 
vhat he had written twenty years before : " Only those 
tates which possess navies and control territories overseas 
an rank in future as great Powers." 2 

Minor exponents of the phase of the colonial theory, 
which Treitschke represented were. Franz Mauer, 3 whose 
pamphlet, Die Nkobaren, and whose articles in the 
Rhenische Zeitung in 1865, recommended the annexation 
of naval stations as footholds of national strength, and J. J. 
JSturz, 4 " der Vorkampfer deutschcr Uberseepolitik," who 
had been most active in promoting colonization in Brazil. 
The writings of the latter were quite numerous, Kami und 
Soil ein N eudeiitschland Geschaffen Werden, and Die Krisis 
der Deutsche r Aus-zvanderung und Hire Benuteung, appear- 
ing in 1862 and Die Deutche Auswandcrung , in 1868. 
These pamphlets urged direction of German emigration to 
Brazil and settlement there, while later in Der Wieder- 
gewonnen Weltthcil: Ein Neues Gemeinsames Indien, 
(Berlin 1876), he advised a German protectorate in East 

Many years before the nationalist historians advocated 
Vcolonial expansion, List had promoted the subject from his 
:>wn point of view, political economy. He broke with the 
prevailing laissez-faire and cosmopolitan school, and urged 
:olonialism as part of a national program. In his 
National System of Political Economy (1841) he advised 
1 strong colonial policy in all of its phases. 

A vigorous German consular and diplomatic service ought to be 

1 Ibid., Turkei und die Grosse Macht (1876), in Deutsche Kdmpfe, 
p. 677. 

' Ibid., Deutsche Kolonisation (Berlin, 1885), in Hausrath, Treitschke 
(London, 1914), pp. 195-216. 

*Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 5. 

*Ibid., p. 5. 


established. . . . Young explorers should be encouraged to travel 
through these countries and make impartial reports upon them. 
Young merchants should be encouraged to inspect them. Young 
physicians should go and practice there. Enterprises should be 
founded and supported by stock companies and taken under gov- 
ernmental protection. Companies should be formed in the Ger- 
man seaports in order to buy land in foreign countries and settle 
them with German colonists; also companies for commerce and 
navigation, whose object should be to open new markets abroad 
for German manufacturers and to establish steamship lines ; and 
again, mining companies should be established whose object would 
be to devote German knowledge and industry to winning great 
mineral wealth. . . . Colonies are the best means of developing f 
manufactures, export and import trade, and finally a respectable « 
navy. 1 

Lothar Bucher, a member of the Prussian Foreign Min-? 
istry, revived List's ideas, on the eve of the empire, by his 
articles in the Norddeutsche Allegemcinc Zeitung fori 
February, 1867. He pointed out that everything which! 
List had recommended for Prussia had been accomplished 
except the acquisition of colonies, and urged the speedy 
establishment of a colonial kingdom, naming Timor, the 
Philippines and St. Thomas as objects. 2 Also in his Bilder 
aus der Fremde 3 Bucher had expressed himself in favor of 
colonies. Likewise advocating List's theory, was the work 
of Ernst Friedel, whose book, Die Griindung Preuss- 
Deutschcn Colonieen in der Indischen Ozean (1867). em- 
phasized opportunities for expansion in the Far East, es- 
pecially recommending Formosa. "Maritime commerce, 
ships of war, colonies, are all terms which complement each 
other," he said. " The value of each is diminished, if one 
is lacking 

>> 4 

1 List, National System of Political Economy (1841 ), translated by 
Lloyd (London, New York, 1004), pp. 347, 216. 

1 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 5, note 6. 

3 Bucher, Bilder aus der Fremde (Berlin, 1862-3). 

* Cheradame, op. cit., p. 21. 



The political scientists, Roscher, Wappaus, Hoffken, stres- 
sed another point of view, that of economic necessity. Like 
List they antedated the nationalist historians. They 
breached colonialism for the overflow of population as well 
las for the benefit of trade, and demonstrated the value of 
polonies as new production and consumption centres. 1 At 
first, German economists had considered emigration, so 
great during the first half of the nineteenth century, as a 
loss to Germany. But these men were the first to accord 
to it a national character, for they regarded it rather as an 
important factor in opening new markets, raising naviga- 
tion receipts, etc. Roscher first advanced such a theory in 
1848, and it became his main thesis: "Germany must ex- 
pand on the sea and over the sea into foreign lands if it 
wants to make up for the sins of past generations. New 
areas for production and consumption must be secured for 
our national interest, be they gained by means of political 
or economic colonization." 2 

Gradually, the growing birth rate in Germany and the 
responsibility for increasing agricultural products greatly 
strengthened the economic aspect of the colonial idea. 
Wappaus' Geographic und Statistik des Kaiserreichs Brazil- 
iums 3 particularly, and the many publications and brochures 
Vof the Central-verein * fur H and elsgco graphic und Deutsche 
ynteressc in Auslande, founded in 1868, contributed to its 
support and perpetuation. 

One more potent factor in promoting colonization for 
economic reasons was the influence of the many societies 
and of the organized efforts for emigration founded during 

1 Wappaus, Deutsche Auszvanderung und Kolonisation (Leipzig, 1846). 

2 Roscher, Koloniecn, Kolonialpolitik und Auswanderung (Leipzig, 
1856), second edition. 

'Wappaus, Geographie und Statistik etc. (Leipzig, 1871). 

4 Cf. infra, p. 51. 


the first 'half of the nineteenth century, which the writings 
of the theorists, as well as the tremendous streams of 
emigrants, had stimulated. To mention only a few : th$ 
Berlin Colonial Society (1844), for the colonization of the 
Mosquito Coast, Prince Solm's colony in Texas (1840), the 
Society for the Protection of Emigrants (1844), the Stutt- 
gart Society (1844), which promoted settlements in South 
Chile, the Hamburg National Colonial Society (1849), 
which founded Dona Franziska, the National Society for 
German Emigration (1848) in Frankfort, and many 
others. 1 They supplied advice, information, and material 
aid to emigrants. It is true that these organizations had 
died out by the year 1870, except the Hamburg Society, the 
Frankfort branch of the National Society, and a Dresden 
association. 2 Their traditions still persisted, however, and 
reinforced by the theories of new advocates, formed an im- 
portant element of the colonial idea. Especially was this 
true when, as the seventies progressed and emigration as- 
sumed enormous proportions, societies were formed "at 
Cologne, Leipzig, and Frankfort, to prepare the mother 
country for the occupancy of distant lands. 

As we have seen, it was first German tradition, and th^n 
historians and political scientists, who fostered the idea of 
national expansion. Now in the third place, explorers and 
geographers added numerous accounts of travels and re- 
searches in natural science to the colonial theory. 

Since the eighteenth century, Germans of this type had 
been interested in Africa and had done much to increase 
knowledge and to excite curiosity concerning lands beyond 
the sea. From 1840 to 1870, and especially immediately 
preceding the period under review, many German travelers 

^oschitzky, op. cit., vol. i, p. 312. 

2 Jahrbuch fiir Nationokonomie und Statistik, 1884, p. 12. 


and scientists had been busy penetrating the unknown places 
of the earth. Gustav Mann had studied flora in the region 
of the Niger ; 1 Dr. Bastian of Bremen had made a tour 
of the world, writing a book about Africa; 2 Heinrich 
Barth, of Hamburg, had been the first European to ex- 
plore the Hinterland of Kamerun ; 3 the geologist Karl von 
Fretsch had devoted himself to the mineralogy of 
Morocco; 4 Karl Mauch, upon returning from the Trans- 
vaal, had ended one of his speeches saying, " May this 
beautiful land some day become a German colony." 5 

The expedition of Dr. Otto Kersten, Baron von Decken 
and Richard Brenner in East Africa had called forth a re- 
q\est from the Sultan Zimba of Wituland for the official 
protection of Prussia, coupled with an offer to render all 
aid and hospitality to German travellers and settlers. 8 In 
1864, Baron von Decken had written from the River Zuba 
that a colony there would be most advantageous, especially 
after the opening of the Suez Canal. 1 Dr. Otto Kersten 
likewise shared and spread this idea in his work, Uber 
{Colonisation in Ost Afrika (Wien, 1867), recommending 
the River Zuba as a most favorable means of entrance to the 
interior and the settlement of such regions as Momba and 
Victoria Nyanza. 8 J. J. Stiirz promoted the same plan 
later after Brenner's death. He advocated consuls for East 
Africa, the erection of a railroad and the payment of state 

'Cheradame, op. cit., p. 20. 
a Ibid. 

'Coppius, Hamburg's Bedeutung auf dem Gebiete der Deutschen 
Kolonialpolitik (Berlin, 1905), p. 51. 


8 Cheradame, op. cit., p. 33. 

•Zimmermann. op. cit., p. 7. 

7 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 4, note 5. 

8 Ibid., op. cit., p. 8, note 9. 


subsidies to a steamship line from Germany. 1 All these men 
either lent the weight of their influence to the theorists who 
were building up the colonial idea or else, by their direct 
contributions, became members of the group themselves. 

Many journeys to distant lands were undertaken at the ' 
expense of the German Society for the Discovery of the 
Interior of Africa, founded by Professor Bastian, on April 
30, 1873. 2 as we U as °f tne German African Society, 
founded in 1876, which was a branch of the International 
African Association. 3 

The contribution, of scientists and travelers to the colonial 
theory received a decided stimulus from the International 
Congress called at Brussels by King Leopold of Belgium in. 
1876 and from the organization of the African International 
Society which resulted. Likewise, the journeys of Stanley, 
Nachtigall and Rholfs awakened new interest in the Dark 
Continent, in travel and exploration in general, and in the 
question of German colonization in particular. 

Finally, missionary zeal contributed to the colonial theory 1 
which existed in 1871 ; and like the enthusiasms for emigra- 
tion and exploration it had also crystallized into societies. 
These became active centers of agitation for national ex- 
pansion. Before 1870, at least eight strong societies for 
work abroad had been founded, of which the Barmen Rhine 
Mission, the Bremen Mission and the Basel Mission were 
the most important. 4 The missions encouraged trade and 
helped colonists and travelers wherever they carried on their 
work. Their publications, reports and presentation of their 
needs, formed another current of influence, within the life 

1 Cf. supra, p. 28 ; Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 16. 

'Barth, Die von 1865- 1895 Fortschritten der Kentniss (Stuttgart, 
1898), p. 73- 
8 Keltie, op. cit., p. 165. 
4 Koschit'zky, op. cit., vol. i, p. 103. 


of Germany, which disseminated colonial information and 
aroused interest in expansion. 

The Barmen Rhine Mission established its first settle- 
ment in Namaqualand in Southwest Africa. Knauer estab- 
lished a station there at Gibeon 1 in 1863 and in 1864 Hahn 
was sent to organize a missionary colony on the coast at 
Otymbingue, " in order through the example of German 
efficiency and activity to influence the natives." 2 As the 
missionary Biittner states in his book, entitled Das Hinter- 
land von Walfischbai tend Angra Pequcna, 3 this settlement 
is " the first piece of territory overseas acquired by Ger- 
mans." Other stations were settled in Namaqualand: one 
at Windhoek, in 1867 and one at Grootfontein in 1873. * 
Indeed the missionaries became very much involved in trade 
throughout the region, gained a strong foothold and ex- 
erted a great influence upon German colonisation. In 
1868, 5 Dr. Fabri, Inspector of the Rhine Mission, asked 
from the Government protection of its work in the Herero 
land, but was refused. Nevertheless, by the year 1883, 
Fabri's society controlled ten stations or more, containing 
five thousand Christians, in South West Africa. Contem- 
poraneously, the Basel Mission pursued its activities in a 
smaller way on the Gold Coast in Togoland, where it had 
first entered the English settlements in 1853. 7 

Among the South Sea Islands, German missionaries had 
also been active. Two missionaries had gone to New 

koschitzky, op. cit.. vol. i, p. 103. 

*Ibid., vol. ii, p. 40. 

•Oberlander, Deutsch-Afrika (Leipzig, 1885), p. 162. 

* Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 40. 

6 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 8. 

•Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 40. 

'Cheradame, op. cit., p. 172. 


Guinea in 1855, several to North Borneo, the Marshall 
Islands and to the Samoan group. 1 

The foregoing summary has shown that the first phase 
of the colonial movement in modern Germany was a theory, 
an idea. Professors, historians, political economists, scien- 
tists, explorers and missionaries had constructed and dis- 
seminated theoretical colonialism more or less uncon- 
sciously; they had made it a definite subject of discussion 
and treatise in the early seventies. Colonialism thus lived 
very vitally in the way that doctrines and convictions sur- 
vive; but it was, at best, very abstract and largely imprac- 
ticable. Indeed, as we have seen, the statesmen of the 
day viewed the " professor-led multitude " clamoring for 
expansion, with the hearty dislike with which the initiative 
of the people is apt to be regarded in Germany. Likewise, 
Bismarck's personal distaste for all things impractical, es- 
pecially for "visionary" professors who belonged to the 
political opposition — as they did in the early seventies — 
militated strongly against the success of the colonial theory. 
In short, theoretical colonialism would have to attain a much 
more practical significance before its doctrinaire ideas, em- 
anating chiefly from university circles, could command 
official attention and response. 

1 Cheradame, op. cit., p. 109. 


The Rise of Commercial Colonialism : Direct Action 
Versus the Power of Ideas 

. During the early years of the German Empire, as we 
have seen in the preceding chapter, a sort of theoretical 
colonialism was developing. Beneath its surface, how- 
ever, appeared the beginnings of a real commercial expan- 
sion, silently and independently transforming theory into 

p A group from the upper, industrial and commercial clas- 
ses, aided by the banking world, initiated the movement; 
and their unobserved activities, in contrast with the abstrac- 
tions of colonial theorists, have suggested the sub-title of 
this chapter — direct action versus the power of ideas. 
Gradually they placed the colonial movement more in ac- 
cord with the national German mind of 1871-1875, which 
was attuned to the pitch of practical, political and economic 
achievement, rather than to idealistic ventures and visions. 

A survey of existing German trade settlements over seas, 
in the dawning years of the new empire, is essential to show 
the foundations upon which the group of commercial 
colonialists built. For, although the Prussian Government 
had officially renounced all such activities since 1725, in- 
dividual merchants and traders had undertaken and ac- 
complished much upon their own initiative. 

The Hanse towns, in line with their old tradition, had 
provided the largest number of actors for the commercial 
drama, which was to fnrni the first act of the great cycle of 
36 [36 


German colonial activities. The towns of Hamburg, Bre- 
men and Liibeck had never entered the Zollverein. They 
were free traders, and controlled the bulk of Germany's 
foreign commerce. They had brought up their children 
with ships for toys when their little Prussian cousins were 
playing with soldiers, and they had sent their youths over 
seas in large numbers. There was scarcely a family in 
these towns which could not count a relative or acquain- 
tance d' iiben. 

Africa proved, at first, the chief scene of. their activity. 
By 1 87 1, many Hamburg and Bremen firms had secured' 
strong commercial footholds on the coasts of the Dark Con- 
tinent. To East Africa, as early as 1844, the firm of Herz x 
and Son had sent the first ship, building up an export trade 
in cowry shells. It was succeeded by the firms of Hansing 
and O'Swald. 2 They began by establishing a trade with the 
west coast, at Lagos, and then concentrated their efforts in 
East Africa at Zanzibar in 1850. 3 S01 great was their suc- 
cess, that on June 13, 1859, a trade treaty was arranged 
between the Hanse towns and the Sultan of Zanzibar, which 
was subsequently extended to the North German Confedera- 
tion in 1869 and later to the German Empire. The firm of 
O'Swald controlled most of the commerce and by the year 
1874, the total German export trade from Zanzibar 
amounted to three and one half 4 million marks, three times 
greater than that of England. Indeed, the Sultan hated the 
English and was the friend of the German merchants, to 
whose efforts must be entirely credited his offer 5 to place his 
country under German protecion, which was refused by 

'Coppius, op. cit., p. 57. 

2 Ibid., p. 50. 

3 Coppius, op. cit., p. 51, and Koschitzky, vol. i, p. 244. 

*Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. i, p. 244-245. 

5 Cf. infra, p. 50. 


Bismarck in 1874. The Zanzibar trading-post was the most 
important in East Africa, although in Witu a travelling 
companion of Baron von Decken had established very 
friendly relations with the rulers. Later, Clemens Den- 
hardt and his brother Gustav continued to foster the con- 
nection, and it became the nucleus of a company formed in 
Berlin in 1883. 1 

The successors to the work of Hansing and O'Swald in 
West Africa were the Hamburg business houses of Witt 
and Biisch and G. S. Gaiser. But by far the most active 
firm in West Africa, dividing and sub-dividing itself and 
radiating out in all directions was that of C. Woermann. 
First entering Liberia in 1849, 2 ft penetrated and spread 
through territory between Gabun and the Kameroons, 
founding a factory in Gabun in 1862 3 and trading stations 
on the Kameroon River in 1864. Jantzen, a manager for 
Woermann, 1861-1871, and Thormahlen, another agent, 
formed an independent firm, setting up a factory in Kame- 
roon in 1875. 4 Their trade grew enormously and by 1879 
they owned factories along the coast in Great-Batanga, on 
Bata Bay, and on the Ogowe River. Later, in 1879. two 
other managers for Woermann, Wolber and Broehm, 
^formed a partnership on this coast, thereby giving the 
vHouse of Woermann a firm grasp on the entire district and 
placing most of the commerce in its hands. Its packet 
boats carried on regular trade with all the West African 
qoast, for Germany supplied the salt for most of this part 
of the world and Hamburg manufactured the gin " so dear 
to the hearts of the blacks." 

1 Koschitzky, op. cit., p. 246. 
'Coppius, op. cit., p. 51. 
8 Cheradame, op. cit., p. 64. 
*Coppius, op. cit., p. 57. 


Even the missionaries engaged largely in commerce in 
West Africa, indeed trade seems to have been a very vital! 
part of their work. In 1864, a stock company, with capital 
of 700,000 M. was formed in Germany to support the com- 
mercial and religious work of the Rhine Barmen Mission 
at Otymbingue, which bought the land and buildings of the 
Walfisch Bay Copper Company and carried on an exten- 
sive business. 1 In the same way, the Basel Mission, work- 
ing on the Gold Coast in Togoland, established in connec- 
tion with its trade a large factory at Akra. 2 

The following figures will illustrate the subsequent 
growth of German trade in West Africa, arising from these 

Year Exports to Africa Imports to Hamburg 

1879 279,252 M. 5,196,520 M. 

1880 33So8o 6,735,090 

1881 305,101 5.556,230 

1882 417,513 8,475,100 

1883 442,774 9,105,150 3 

Africa, however, did not represent the only stronghold 
of the practical colonialists. The Hanse towns were like- 
wise pioneers of trade settlements in the South Seas. So 
great indeed was their influence, that, as early at 1858, a 
Prussian sea captain was asked whether Prussia was tribu- 
tary to Hamburg. 4 

The American Captain Wakeman, in his report B about 
Samoa, writes, in 1871, of calling upon T. Weber, agent of 
the Hamburg House of Godeffroy, and of finding him the 

1 Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. i, p. 49. 
*Ibid., vol. i, p. 104; Keltie, op. cit., p. 174. 
'Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. i, p. 128. 
4 Coppius, op. cit., p. 62. 

5 Report of Captain Wakeman to H. Webb on Samoa, 1871 (New- 
York, 1872). 


controller of the Samoan copra trade. The House of God- 
effroy became important in the island as early as 1857. It 
evidently realized that Samoa was, as Wakeman describes it. 
the garden of the Pacific as well as a stragetic commercial 
centre. The firm began to buy land in 1857, and by 1859 
monopolised all the trade. Its agent, Theodore Weber, 
entered the service as a lad, went to Samoa in 1861, and 
gradually assumed complete control. The North German 
Confederation assisted him by appointing him its official 
representative. It was due to his management that numer- 
ous trading depots in Oceania were created, that New 
Britain was added to the sphere of the firm's commerce in 
1 87 1, and that the traffic in oil of copra was organized on 
a vast scale. 1 Besides copra, this House carried on trade in 
cocoa, coffee, and sugar. Each year, large ships left 
Europe for Apia, the headquarters of Godeffroy, said by 
Wakeman to be the best distributing centre in the Samoan 
Islands. With its headquarters at Apia, the firm's activities 
ranged from Valparaiso to Cochin China. At the time of 
the Franco-Prussian War, its trade was tremendous; it 
controlled stations all over the South Seas, and the English 
referred to its head as the " South Sea King." 2 Rapidly 
the House of Godeffroy was outstripping the English, for 
whereas in 1868, there were thirty- four English ships in 
Samoan waters and twenty-four German, in 187 1 there were 
twenty-six English and thirty-six German. 3 Moreover, the 
activities of this firm were well known in Germany, or at 
least the House of Godeffroy endeavored to make them so. 
For in 1861, Johann Ceasar Godeffroy founded the Gode- 
I ffroy Museum in Hamburg to exhibit the geography, 

1 Cheradame, op. cit., p. 115. 

*Geographische Zeitschrift, vol. v, 1809, p. 494. 

'Coppius, op. cit., p. 62. 


ethnology and natural history of Samoa, for which pur- 
pose he sent out many expeditions. He also published the 
Journal des Museums Godeffroy' s from the year 1871 until 
1879, when the firm went out of existence. 1 

In addition to Godeffroy in the South Seas, was the firm 
of Hernsheim which had established trade and acquired land 
in New Britain in 1875, making its headquarters at White 
Bay on the island of Matupi. 2 These islands became valu- 
able as a source of supply for workers on the German plan- 
tations in Samoa, and this firm superintended their organiza- 
tion and transportation. Hernsheim and Company also ex- 
tended its business to the Caroline Islands, where it had in- 
terests in copra. These firms were forerunners of many 
powerful business houses trafficking in the South Seas. 
Likewise in the Fiji Islands, Hamburg merchants had found 
sources of rich vegetable products, had bought plantations 
and invested considerable capital ; 3 one firm alone had 
made an outlay of two and one half million. 

The possibilities of New Guinea, where two missionaries 
had settled, were also apparent to German traders, as the 
many letters from the German settlers in Australia testified. 4 
Indeed the German colonists were continually writing to the 
Prussian Ministry of Trade, urging the settlement of 

Though, unfortunately, no definite German trade statis- 
tics for the South Seas exist for these early years, the fol- 
lowing figures, compiled from English sources for the years 
from 1868 to 1870 and from the reports of German consuls) 

1 Meyers, Konversation-Lexikon, vol. viii, p. 74, art., "Godeffroy." 

2 Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 232-239. 

3 Stenographische Berichte iiber die Verhandlungen des Deutschen 
Reichstages, 1879, p. 1604. 

4 Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 201. 


from the years 1873 to l &7&> will convey some idea of its 
growth and extent. 



Total Number Ships Trading 
with Samoa and Tonga Islands 














1, 595,6oo 







German Ships 


Total German 



72 ' 

In 1879, out of the seven existing firms in the Vavao 
group of the Tonga Islands, six were German. 
J In one other part of the world we find also a conspicuous 
example of individual German colonial initiative — in the 
province of Rio Grande du Sul in Brazil. South America 
had become, next to the United States, the great goal of 
German emigration, for during the years from 1871 to 

556,142 emigrants went to the United States. 



' " Brazil. 



' " other South American States 



' " Africa. 



' " Canada. 



' " West Indies.* 

In 1872, there were fifty to sixty thousand Germans in 
/ the province of Rio Grande du Sul. They controlled trade 
and were predominant in agriculture and industry. Ham- 

1 Anlagen des Deutschen Reichstages, 1877, Aktenstiick, no. 80, p. 282. 
*Iahrbuch fur Nationokonomie und Statistik, 1884, p. 312. 


burg, alone, sent fifty shiploads of goods there annually 
and " a great future lay before this province as a support 
of German foreign trade and as an excellent acquisition for 
colonial expansion." * 

Such, then, was the status of economic ventures and 
settlements overseas during the first years of our period. 
By 1875, German merchants and traders had individually 
made themselves prominent in Africa, in the South Seas, 
and in South America, and their activities were the first 
symptoms of an unorganized, unarticulated, colonial policy. 
Unconsciously their work went on and prospered. ' The 
majority of the German people did not know about the Ger- 
man expeditions overseas nor the settlements of Hamburg 
and Bremen merchants in Africa and other parts of the 
world." 2 But, as Coppius remarks in his excellent mono- 
graph on this subject, " The quiet pioneer activity of our 
Hamburg merchants could not fail to exert a great influence 
upon the German people, even though they did not under- 
stand the significance of it." 3 

Ever growing trade and constantly expanding merchant 
companies with their settlements naturally required protec- 
tion; indeed the efforts of the commercial colonialists were, 
at the beginning of the seventies, attracting the attention 
of other Powers who had colonial interests at stake. These 
merchants and traders thought that the most ostensible ad- 
vantages gained by the newly established German unity was 
a greatly enhanced national prestige; and they considered 
that it should now be depended upon to make itself felt 
where, from their point of view, it was most needed, namely, 
overseas. Foreign trade, they said, should no longer be 

1 Anlagen des Deutschen Reichstages, 1877, Aktenstiick, no. 80. 
1 Charpentier, Entwickelungs Geschichte der Kolonialpolitik des 
deutschen Reichs (Berlin, 1886), p. 13. 
* Coppius, op. cit., p. 61. 


obliged to stand aside. " The German with his flag was 
destined no more to be an appendage of foreign nations; 
to go through the world with his cap in one hand and a 
piece of gold in the other." Had not these men risked 
everything to establish their factories and depots? Why 
should the now great and glorious Fatherland, in the first 
flush of its new life, hesitate to come to their aid? 

Such was the new note which, during the first years of the 
empire, began to make itself heard above all the theoretical 
arguments for expansion. It possessed a tremendous ad- 
vantage over all the other appeals, because it rested upon 
a practical reality. Its protagonists could, so to speak, 
meet the Government on its own ground. The group of 
practical, commercial colonists made no such demands upon 
administrative vision, imagination and faith, as the theorists 
did; theirs was a pragmatic position; they could point, with 
justifiable pride, to their own unsupported, colonial ad- 
ventures in the shape of trade settlements, could demon- 
strate their success and could represent it as the duty and 
obligation of the nation to protect and foster these projects 
which were already on their feet. In short, the colonial 
movement became a business proposition and, as such, had 
as its chief promoters, keen business men. 
^jAt first, it was the merchants themselves who initiated the 
jagitation by demanding protection and help. They made 
(their common need and bond the subject of attack upon the 
jj administration, both by propaganda and by direct petition. 
Gradually they were joined by other groups of interested 
individuals, such as leaders of overseas trading speculations, 
possessors of land claims, etc., so that amid the exhorta- 
tions of the theoretical colonialists the voices of the com- 
mercial colonists began to make themselves heard. 

The eve of the treaty of Frankfort afforded a brilliant 
opportunity for urging the cause of expansion on the 


grounds of national, economic and commercial welfare of 
the new empire, since discussions relative to the dictation 
of a victorious peace are generally occasions conducive to 
the flaunting of a glorified nationalism. German merchants 
in Valparaiso, for instance, raised the question of taking 
possession of Patagonia. Others advised seizing Madagas- 
car, the Zulu Islands, the purchase of Danish Saint Thomas. 
Many were the demands that the treaty of Frankfort should 
include France's colonies. The traveler, E. von Weber, 
wrote in the National Zeitiing, September 20, 1870, ad- 
vocating the acquisition of Cochin China, Tahiti, Marquesa 
Islands, Reunion. 1 

The most significant documentary evidence, however, is' 
a petition presented to the Reichstag of the North German 
Confederation on November 30, 1870. 2 The document 
earnestly requested that the port of Saigon, a strategic naval 
base in China, belonging to France, be demanded in the 
peace settlement. The petition was drawn up by a group 
of merchants in Bremen, the President of the Chamber of 
Commerce at Geuestemunde and by some merchants and 
scholars in Berlin. Herr Adicks, representing the firm of 
Rickmers and Company in Bremen, presented it and the 
signatories consisted of thirty-five Bremen firms, three 
Berlin firms and Professor von Holzendorf. 3 It is signi- 
ficant to note that the most influential Bremen firm support- 
ing it was Mosle and Company, whose chief, Alexander 
George Mosle, had gone to Brazil in 1848 and established 
his business at Rio Janiero, where he became German Con- 

1 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 9. 

* Anlagen des Reichstages des Nord Deutschen Bundes, 1870, petition 
no. 13 under no. 15. 

'Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 9. 


sul from Bremen to Brazil. 1 Returning in 1862, he made 
Bremen the headquarters of his firm, became prominent 
personally as vice-president of the German Commercial Con- 
gress, and head of the Geographical Society in Bremen, and 
later emerged as one of the most vigorous agitators for 
colonialism and leaders of the colonial party. Further- 
more, the petition was endorsed by Prince Adalbert of Prus- 
sia who tried to influence von Roon in its favor. 2 

The reason advanced for the acquisition of a naval sta- 
tion at Saigon was, that the considerable German trade 
between Hongkong, Shanghai and Europe, Japan and 
China, required protection. " As long as property on sea 
is not safe any more than on land, it is Germany's duty to 
afford it protection. German merchants and ship owners 
must not be obliged to turn to foreigners for protection." ;! 

This reason was not considered sufficiently forceful, how- 
ever, for the petition was dismissed before even being put 
to the vote. Although there was some discussion, everyone 
except its actual promoters spoke decidedly against it. The 
tone significant exception was Meier, 4 the great National 
Liberal merchant of Bremen, founder of the North German 
Lloyd. Later, in 1884, he became a warm supporter of 
:olonialism, but, in 1870, he was a leading representative 
>f the free-trade era. He was careful not to endorse the 
petition outright, because he thought it would lead to colon- 
ialism, which he conceived of as an outworn policy, art 
anachronism; but he did say that no one could claim that 
" German trade does not need protection." 

1 Poschinger, Bismarck und die Parlementarier, 2 vols. (Breslau, 
1894), vol. ii, p. 130. 

'Poschinger, Bismarck als Volks-wirt, 3 vols., vol. i, p. 63. 

8 V erhandlungen des Reichstages des Nord. Deut. Bundes, Nov. 
30, 1870, p. 42. 

*Bremische Biographie des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts (Bremen, 1912), 
P- 309- 


The petition from the merchants of Bremen, who were 
beginning to form the colonial party, was duplicated by one 
to Bismarck from the merchants of Hamburg, which also 
concerned the terms of the treaty of Frankfort. They de- 
sired that Germany, in the peace, should demand Cochin 
China, Martinique, St. Pierre and Miquelon. 1 Again 
Prince Adalbert of Prussia was a warm advocate and had 
his eye especially upon Guadeloupe. He urged von Roon 
to influence Bismarck but the latter was immovable. The 
treaty of Frankfort represented no interests of the merch- 
ant colonialists. 

After the peace settlement, the economic enthusiasts for 
colonialism did not lose hope, but took refuge in propa- 
ganda, appealing still to the national sentiment. Some ad- 
vocated annexing the Fiji Islands, the Hebrides, the Philip- 
pines; while from America came German voices clamoring 
for the acquisition of Cuba, Sumatra, New Guinea, Pon- 
dicherry. In 1871, Samoa was proposed as a naval station. 
Das Kleine Journal and Die Welt Post 2 supported the 
cause, and pamphlets appeared about Germany's interests in 
the East. In 1871, an anonymous brochure came out in 
Berlin entitled Deutschlauds Interessen in Ost Asien, in 
which the author regretted that the treaty of Frankfort had 
not acquired Cochin China as a naval base to protect 
German trade. 3 

Some indication of the strength of all this agitation may 
be gauged by the fact that in 1871, 4 Bismarck found it 

1 Poschinger, " Bismarck unci die Anfange der deutschen Kolonial- 
politik. Nach unveroffen-lichen Quellen," Kolnische Zeitung, August 
19, 1907. 

'Herrfurth, "Bismarck als Kolonialpolitiker," Zeiischrijt fiir 
Kolonialpolitik, Kolonialrecht, October, 1909, p. 723. 

*Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 12. 

4 Cheradame, La Colonisation et les colonies allemandes, p. 32. 


necessary to announce officially in the press that Germany 
contemplated no expansion, so fearful was he lest the voices 
of these partisans might arouse the attention and suspicion 
of the foreign Powers. Indeed the press of America, 
Australia and Spain had shown itself apprehensively ex- 
cited by the flood of German colonial propaganda. 

Nothing daunted by the hostility of the administration, 
the merchants and traders, the practical colonialists, now 
inaugurated a direct " petition policy," consisting largely 
of attacks upon the Government. They demanded protec- 
tion and extension of overseas trade by means of both 
consuls and trade treaties, and actual acquisition of terri- 
tory, naval stations and the establishment of protectorates. 

The consuls and other government officials living abroad 
assisted the merchants in many instances. Witnesses to the 
achievements of the commercial colonialists, they readily 
appreciated Germany's great opportunity to support trade 
and they added the weight of their influence in importuning 
governmental assistance. Conspicuous in this respect was 
Theodore Weber in his double capacity as agent for the 
House of Godeffroy and as German Consul in Samoa. In 
1 87 1, he notified Bismarck that the United States had pur- 
chased the harbor of Pago- Pago, was sending a war ship to 
Samoa, and was arranging treaties with other islands. 1 He 
considered that such aggressive acts should inspire Germany 
both to protect its already existent trade and to acquire an 
increased influence. He urged the speedy annexation by 
( iermany of some point in Samoa. 

The following year. Dettering, the Customs Commis- 
si' >ner in China, besought the Government to establish a 
foothold on the coast and encouraged individuals to ac- 
quire trade concessions hi the Yangste valley. In this 

1 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 10. 


project the Crown Prince became profoundly interested but 
was silenced by Bismarck. 1 

This same year, 1872, the Government was further as- 
sailed from the opposite part of the globe, by a petition 
from the colonists in the Province of Rio Grande du Sul in 
Brazil to protect and foster commercial interests, and also 
to abrogate the old Prussian restriction (1859) on emigra 
tion to Brazil, so that, "A modern colonial policy may b* 
adopted, which by means of trade may become a strong 
support for home capital and industry." 2 

From Africa, the influential firm of Woermann on the 
west coast, through its agent, Joseph Thormahlen, petitioned 
the administration, on April 22, 3 1874, for a consul to be 
stationed at Fernando Po, to protect its commercial in- 
terests in Kameroon. Likewise from South Africa came a 
petition from E. von Weber, who was developing a diamond 
mine. Weber tells about this in his book, Vier Jahre in 
Afrika, 1871-18J5.* " In response to a patriotic impulse 
which would not let me rest, I dispatched a memorandum 
to the Kaiser and Bismarck, urging a speedy annexation of\ 
Delagoa Bay and the establishment of a German protector- 
ate over the Transvaal." 5 

Two men broached the same plan to the Chancellor later, 
in 1876, although by that time it had become much more 
fully developed. Liideritz, the merchant, was one of them. 
They represented an interested group and they had gained 
a personal interview with Bismarck because of the rela- 

1 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 11. 

* Anlagen des Deutschen Rcichstages, 1872, petition no. 51, 

3 Hamburgische Correspondent, 1874, no. 327, quoted by Zimmermann, 
op. cit., p. 11. 

* Weber, Vier Jahre in Afrika, 1871-1875, 2 vols. (Berlin, 1879), 
vol. ii, p. 543- 

* Weber, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 543. 


tionship of one of their number to a high official in the 
Foreign Office. They unfolded a complete scheme for 
founding a colony in South Africa, based upon the economic 
necessity of Germany, the crying need of directing emigra- 
tion and the fact that the Boers desired German protection. 
Their plan was to establish a steamship line to South 
Africa and to construct a railway to the Transvaal. To 
finance these projects, they asked a state subsidy of 
100,000,000 M. for ten years. Bismarck " met them court- 
eously," but rejected the proposition on the grounds that 
the time was unpropitious politically, that Germany lacked 
sufficient navy, and that the necessary popular impulse for 
such a policy of expansion was wanting. 1 
J Again, from East Africa, came an offer in 1874 from 
\ the Sultan of Zanzibar to place his country under German 
protection. The offer was due to the activities of the firms 
of Hansing and O'Swald and also to the efforts of the ex- 
plorers, Otto Kersten and Richard Brenner." Bismarck re- 
fused it. although the situation for German traders became 
very critical in the following year. A German company 
had encountered some difficulty about the customs, since the 
old customs treaty, made in 1859 anc ^ renewed in 1869, had 
expired. England's attitude was also threatening. She 
had established a steamship line from Aden to Zanzibar and 
in 1875 had commanded an Egyptian fleet which had an- 
nexed two harbors on the coast to lower its flag. 

In the same year, 1875. another request for German pro- 
tection and activity in oversea control came from the South 
fSeas. Von Overbeds, an Austrian, who had acquired some 
shares of an American land company in North Borneo and 
also the friendship and patronage of the Sultans of Zulu and 
Brunei, begged for the opportunity to surrender them to 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, Furst Bismarck (Berlin, 1801), vol. v, p. 4. 
• Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. i, p. 127. 


Germany, offering to sell his rights and land shares to the 
Government. 1 Consent would have bound the Sultan of; 
Zulu to Germany, reserved the north shore of Borneo for 
German commerce, and greatly strengthened Germany's/ 
trade position in the South Seas. Administrative heedin 
of Consul Sahl's 2 letters concerning the Fiji Islands, vvoul 
have had a similar effect. Sahl was the German Consu 
in Sydney and wrote at various times calling the Govern 
ment's attention to the fact, " that much German capital was 
invested there and that the islands owe their state of pros- 
perity and progress, for the most part, to German energy 
and perseverance." 

Ample proof exists that there were indeed innumerable 
petitions of the same kind. And it is without doubt that 
Germany, thereby, had countless opportunities to gain over- 
seas positions of control, as urged by the commercial 
colonial partisans. H. Poschinger tells of the existence 
of a collection of documents in the Foreign Office entitled, 
Concerning Plans for the Founding of Colonies and Naval 
Bases, which by the year 1885, had come to include thirty 
volumes.' 1 Poschinger adds that Germany would have had 
many flourishing colonies, had these not been rejected ; but 
even though rejected, they were not without a certain de- 
finite influence and force. 

Another factor in the work of " direct action" for colon-i 
ialism was the Central Society for Commercial Geography] 
and German Interests Abroad. 4 Founded in 1868, by theft 

1 Herrfurth, Bismarck und Die Kolonialpolitik (Berlin, 1909), p. 6. 
Vide, also Zeitschrift fiir Kolonialpolitik, October, 1909, loc. cit., p. 725. 

2 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 185. Weissbuch 1885, part 
", p. 3- 

3 Poschinger, " Fiirst Bismarck und die Anfange der Deut. Kolonial- 
politik," Kolnische Zeitung, Aug. 31, 1906. 

* Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. i, p. 123. Vide also Jannarsch, " Zentrall 
Verein fiir Geographie," Schmollcr's Jahrbuch, 1883, pp. 177-192. 


traveler and explorer Otto Kersten, it had developed during 
he early seventies into one of the most important means for 
the fostering of German commercial interests overseas, and 
at home it represented the only hitherto organized agency 
for promoting the aims of economic colonialism. It estab- 
lished branches in all the leading German cities and in the 
/chief foreign countries where Germans were settled, and its 
/objects, as set down in its program, were those of dis- 
tinctly practical colonialism : 

1. Study of the lands where Germans had settled, their 
geographical, social and economic conditions and 
mercantile opportunities. 

2. The methodical dissemination of knowledge and in- 
formation about these countries. 

3. The increase of communication, both physical and 
spiritual, between these countries and the Fatherland. 

4. The encouragement and establishment of trade and 
naval stations. 

15. The acquisition of colonies. 

JMoreover, Der Export, a monthy magazine, its official 
organ, which the Society regularly published, together with 
many other publications, occupied a prominent place in 
literature fostering colonialism. 

To sum up, the second phase of the colonial movement 
was economic. Throughout the first five years of the em- 
pire. commercial colonialism had assumed definite propor- 
tions. Abroad, it had fostered individual, commercial 
activities in Africa, in the South Seas, and in Brazil ; while 
at home, its protagonists had promoted a vigorous campaign 
both to secure governmental protection, the most urgent 
need of the overseas settlements, and to further the cause of 
expansion itself. Here was a movement which could not 
be so easily disposed of as that of the colonial theorists, its 
predecessor and contemporary. It could not be dismissed 


as impractical because its actual achievements were too 
substantial and obvious; its needs and demands were too 
incessant and importunate. What was the reply of the 
Government? The answer must be reserved for the next 
chapter; but the fact that a situation had been created, re- 
quiring a response which must be sooner or later forth- 
coming, was significant. It demonstrated that the com- 
mercial colonialists, who represented only a small minority 
of the German people, had, by vitalizing the colonial issue, 
rescued it from the realm of theoretical debate and made 
it, instead, a practical and live reality with which the 
Government was forced to reckon. 


Government Reaction to Commercial Colonialism 
and the Appearance of a Colonial Party 

The German Government was at first extremely weak 
and indefinite in its response to the demands of the com- 
mercial colonialists. Its policy consisted principally in an 
extension of the consular service, in a dependence upon the 
good offices of foreign consuls, and in a blind reliance upon 
the doctrine of free trade and equal opportunity, in short, 
in a mere " diplomatic guardianship." Such temporization 
and make-shift could not suffice for long, however: the in- 
terests of overseas trade were to become too great a factor 
in the national life. Indeed by the year 1874 the conse- 
quences of commercial colonialism began to expose the in- 
adequacy of " diplomatic guardianship" as a policy of trade 
protection, to create a strain upon international diplomacy, 
and to force the administration to show its hand. Even 
the increased consular service — slight as it was in the eyes 
of those merchants eager for administrative colonial acti- 
vity — began to arouse the jealousy and suspicion of other 
nations. The pressure of external events was to prove 
more potent than words, more comprehensible to Bismarck 
and his ministers than the weak v'oice of a small minority 
of the German people. It must be borne in mind, neverthe- 
less, than this external pressure was, in its last analysis, 
caused by the very mini rity of practical colonialists whose 
activities, now to be reviewed, resulted in the formation of a 
definite colonial party. 

54 • 154 


During the years 1870 to 1875, the Government extended 
and increased the consular service and practiced " diplo- 
matic guardianship" everywhere; but it emphatically re- 
fused and discouraged each explicit demand for the estab- 
lishment of a protectorate or naval base or for the acquisi- 
tion of territory. To illustrate : the petition of the Brazilian 
colonists for consular and postal service was granted, and 
consuls were stationed in Africa and the South Seas; but 
the proposed protectorates over Borneo, Zanzibar, and 
South Africa, and the acquisition of naval stations in China 
and Samoa, as well as the granting of a state subsidy in 
South Africa, were all rejected; indeed any projects bor- 
dering upon a direct colonial policy were discouraged. 

The reasons vouchsafed for this negative and noncom- 
mittal attitude were, in the main, fear of foreign friction 
and lack of men and money. The brief discussion occa- 
sioned by the petition of the merchants on November 30, 
1870, to include Saigon in the treaty of Frankfort, con- 
tained all the grounds of its refusal. Baron von Hoverbeck 
thought that the proposition was untimely and that Germany 
could not afford colonies. Dr. Schleiden, a Prussian offi- 
cial, agreed with Ross, a Hamburg merchant (not interested 
in any overseas ventures), that such a policy would be 
politically dangerous. Other, objections were raised on 
the grounds of expense. In vain the petitioner Miguel 
argued that the acquisition of Saigon would not necessitate 
an expansion policy but was merely a guarantee of trade 
protection. 1 His argument, it might be noted, later became 
a classic one with the colonial party and the opponents of 
colonialism always recognized it as representing the enter- 
ing wedge of expansion. Bismarck expressed the same 
negative policy in his refusals to engage in any active pro- 

1 V crhandlungcn des Reichstages des Norddeutschen Bundes, Nov. 
30, 1870, p. 42. Cf. supra, p. 45- 


tection of the commercial colonialists. He rejected the 
Hamburgers' petition for French colonies with the rejoinder 
that any colonial undertaking was premature; * he declined 
Consul Weber's advice for colonial activity in Samoa, ad- 
monishing the Consul meanwhile so to conduct German af- 
fairs as to " avoid any friction with the United States," as 
well as to be most tactful and "to promote no independent 
policy; " 2 he dampened the enthusiasm of the Crown Prince 
for Commissioner Dettering's demands for a naval station 
in China by directing a member of the Foreign Office to in- 
struct the young Prince that Germany possessed neither men 
nor money for such adventures and could not afford " to be 
weakened from without." 3 

It becomes apparent, therefore, — so far as we are able to 
determine with the materials at hand — that the official at- 
titude towards the rise of commercial colonialism and its 
demands was, until 1876, a forced recognition of its exist- 
ence and a refusal of its petitions for protection. The easy- 
going practice of " diplomatic guardianship " could hardly 
be termed a real response. 

Commercial colonialism, however, was gaining a momen- 
tum and strength to be demonstrated not directly by its own 
advertisement but indirectly by events which it precipitated. 
In the year 1875 a political crisis arose in the South Seas in 
consequence of the activities of the commercial colonialists, 
and it at once challenged the immediate attention of the 

On October 10, 1874, England ordered Sir Hercules 
Robinson, Governor of New South Wales, to annex the 
Fiji Islands. The act was an earnest of those prophetic 

1 Cf. supra, p. 47- 

2 Zimmerman, op. cit., p. II. 

3 Cf. supra, p. 48. 


grumblings in the English press against Germany's colonial 
ambitions as represented by other merchants and traders in 
Africa, South Seas and elsewhere. At first the German 
settlers greeted the English flag with joy because they 
thought it meant greater security. They had always been 
accustomed to depend on England or any other country for 
consular aid when their own was lacking. When the 
German Consul at Levuka wrote warningly to Bismarck 
on October 15, 1874, 1 and expressed apprehension for the 
threatened German interests, the Chancellor replied on 
January 17, 1875, that he " shared in no way the appre- 
hension, being rather of the opinion that the English oc- 
cupation would prove very advantageous to the German set- 
tlers; it would afford them the security and protection of a 

" 2 

strong government 

The English, however, speedily realized the worst fears 
of the settlers and consuls. In the first place, they enacted 
the Statute of Limitations which cancelled all debts con- 
tracted by the Fijian inhabitants before the year 1871, 
thereby dealing a severe blow to the German merchants, 
" who for many years had been creditors for considerable 
sums; " and in the second place, they dispossessed the Ger- 
man settlers and evicted them from their lands and build- 
ings without idemnity. In his report to the Chancellor on 
October 31, i874, s Consul Sahl of Sydney made the first 
demands for reparation for damages caused by the Statute 
of Limitations. Letters from other consuls and petitions 
from those dispossessed followed. The House of Gode- 
ffroy also raised a cry. Indeed the menace to German trade 
and commercial interests as indicated by England's action 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 185 ; Weissbuch, 1885, pt. ii, 
p. 4. 
* W eissbuch, 1885, pt. ii, p. 4. 
3 Ibid., p. 3. 


put terror into the hearts of German colonists and traders 
in the South Seas, and warned them that all other indepen- 
dent islands were in danger. 

Affairs in Samoa, also, contributed to this crisis. A state 
of civil war had prevailed there since 1870. The conflict- 
ing interests of England and the United States had com- 
plicated and aggravated the situation. The two Powers 
had attempted to secure control by the time-honored method 
of playing off against one another the rival claimants to the 
throne, the families of Taimoa and Puletua. Further en- 
tanglements had ensued from the unscrupulous actions of a 
Colonel A. B. Steinberger, a wily and shrewd adventurer 
from America. Steinberger had been sent to Samoa by the 
State Department of the United State as a special agent in 
T872. in response to a public demand for information about 
the island. Submitting his report in 1873. he was sent back 
again to Samoa, carrying a letter from the President and 
presents to the chiefs, his official relations with the United 
States to be severed when the presents were delivered. 1 
Two months prior to this final mission, however, — as shown 
from his papers seized upon his subsequent arrest by the 
State Department in 1876 — he was in Hamburg and there 
entered into an agreement with the House of Godeffroy to 
establish a government in Samoa and identify the interests 
of that government with those of the German firm. We 
quote several extracts from this important document which 
shows the power sought by the merchants in Samoa, and 
which illustrates the direct part played by the commercial 
colonialists in the subsequent political crisis. 

Agreement between A. B. Steinberger and Messrs. John Ceo. 
Godeffroy and Son of Hamburg, for their establishment at Apia. 
16 Sept. 1874. 

Crose, American Samoa. A General Report by the Governor (Wash- 
ington, 1913). PP- 6 et seq. 


1. Col. A. B. Steinberger proceeds to the Samoan Islands as 
U. S. Commissioner, in order to establish there a fixed and stable 
government upon the principles of good administration. 

2. Col. A. B. Steinberger, who by his future position at Samoa 
and his home endorsement, will evidently exercise a paramount 
influence in the Samoan Islands, hereby pledges himself to the 
proper and legitimate interests of the establishments of Godeffroy 
and Son, at Apia ; and to avoid all other business connections 
in toto in America, Europe, Samoa. 

4. J. C. Godeffroy and Son promise as soon as the established 
government in Samoa is recognized by U. S. of America, to use 
directly and through the German consul at Apia all the influence 
they possess to promote the recognition of the Samoan Govern- 
ment by the German Empire. . . . 

In addition to the above general stipulations, it had been agreed 
between Col. A. B. Steinberger and Messrs. Godeffroy and 
Son .... 

a. Col. Steinberger is to procure for J. C. Godeffroy and Son at 
Apia the Samoan Government's recognition of all land sales 
heretofore made to the managers of the same by the nations. 

b. The Government is to permit the introduction of foreign 
labor. . . . 

d. The harbor duties at Apia are not to exceed, say, 3 cts. per 
ton. . . . 

/. A per cap. tax is to be levied upon each adult male inhabi- 
tant of the Samoan group, to be paid to Samoan Government in 
kind, say, copra, cocoanut fibre and other articles of export. . . . 

//. All copra and cocoa fibre obtained by the Samoan Govern- 
ment through' taxation is to be sold to J. C. Godeffroy and Son at 
Apia, at the price of 1^ cent per pound. . . . 

/. The Government of Samoa is to grant monopoly for the 
exportation of bark of " Ua " or paper mulberry to J. C. Godef- 
froy & Son. . . . 

p. The firm of J. C. Godeffroy & Son is to be appointed the 
banker and fiscal agent of the Samoan Government. 

r. Col. A. B. Steinberger is to receive $2. per ton weight on all 
the copra and government fibre sold to J. C. Godeffroy and Son. 

s. Col. A. B. Steinberger is to receive a commission of 10% on 
the amount of purchase of all other produce or material sold by 
Government of Samoa to J. C. Godeffroy and Son. 


/. Col. A. B. Steinberger is to receive a commission of 10% of 
amount of all purchases made by Government of Samoa from J. 
C. Godeffroy and Son. 1 

Steinberger succeeded for a time in establishing a gov- 
ernment in Samoa supported by the powerful German firm. 
With no authority whatsoever he declared Samoa an 
American Protectorate. The United States immediately 
repudiated the act, but was unable to destroy Steinberger s 
rule at once. England, however, during his temporary- 
absence, overthrew his government by supporting a rival 
candidate for the throne; but Steinberger returned and 
set up a new 7 king, Malietoa, A quarrel ensued with the 
United States consul resulting in the arrest of Steinberger' s 
party which by that time had every faction against it. A 
united government, a republic, was then formed in 1877, 
which represented both royal families, Taimoa and Puletua, 
and which looked to the interested nations for support. 

All these disturbances greatly endangered the possessions 
and interests of German settlers, and they therefore ser- 
ved to make prominent and pressing the demands of the com- 
mercial colonialists for governmental protection and expan- 
sion. As the preamble to the Samoan Treaty described the 
situation, " the rapid and incomparable development of Ger- 
man trade in the South Seas demands a place where it can 
be maintained in safety outside these conflicts, outside the 
spheres of influence of other nations." ~ Indeed it was ap- 
parent from the Australian and American newspapers, which 
began to urge the annexation of New Guinea and Samoa by 
their respective states, that other nations were already begin- 
ning to grow excited and to apprehend Germany's possible 

1 Executive Documents of House of Representatives of the United 
States, for the second session of the forty-fourth Congress, 1876-1877, 
vol. ix, document 44, imrlosure i. 

* Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 714- 


expansion overseas; and this reacted in creating a counter 
apprehension in Germany. 1 

Further confirmation of Germany's fears and additional 
support to the appeals for trade protection were not lacking. 
Spain also appeared to be alarmed by the activities of Ger- 
many's commercial colonialists. The Governor-General of 
the Philippines had for several years resented the extension 
of Germany's trade into the Spanish colonial possessions, 
particularly with the Zulu Islands and the north shore of 
Borneo. He began to take measures to stop it. In August 
1873 he ordered the cargoes of the German ships Gazelle 
and Marie Louise to be seized by a Spanish warship. 2 A 
part of the cargo chanced to be English, which fact at once 
forged an Anglo-German bond of union against Spain. In 
1874, Spain sent a note to both Germany and England, 
ordering all ships trading with the Pelew and Caroline 
Islands to touch first at the Philippinies in order to pay 
duty. 3 She thus attempted to hamper effectually German 
trade and possible settlement in the archipelago. 

It is evident from the foregoing accounts that the jostling 
claims of a new economic imperialism in the South Seas 
were becoming most apparent. Indeed conflicting national 
interests were rapidly creating a political and economic crisis. 
And it is clear from the statement of von Kiisserow, a 
former Secretary in the Foreign office, 4 that more such 
clashes in other parts of the world were apprehended. He 

1 Zimmerman, op. cit., pp. 11 -12. 

2 Anlagen des Deutschen Reichstages, 1875, AktenstUck no. 205, pp. 

* Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 279. 

4 Heinrich von Kiisserow had entered the Foreign Office as an 
Under-Secretary in 1863, had served as Secretary-to-the-Legation in 
Paris, Washington, London, for Prussia and the North German Con- 
federation, 1864-1874, and as delegate in the Reichstag of the German 
Empire, 1871-1874. 


said, lt It is becoming necessary to protect Germany's ship- 
ping from piratical attacks in Chinese waters and on the 
West Coast of Africa; to guard German trade settlements 
from acts of power in the South Seas; and to defend Ger- 
mans from legislation directed against them in overseas 
states, such as Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Colombia, and 
from revolutions in South America." J 

Gradually external events were making the German Gov- 
ernment realize the utter inadequacy of its policy of mere 
"diplomatic guardianship;" threatening dangers abroad 
were exposing the futility of attempting to protect the com- 
mercial colonialists only by means of consuls. Moreover, 
actual conditions resulting from the activities of the com- 
mercial colonialists, were demonstrating to Bismarck clearly 
and specifically a fundamental truth — that expansion was 
inextricably intertwined with political power and prestige. 
Facts were vindicating the demands of the commercial col- 
onialists for aid. England's action in the Fiji Islands fully 
illustrated that she adhered to the doctrine of international 
free trade only when it was to her own advantage so to do; 
the dream of " equal opportunity " in overseas trade, at 
which the commercial colonialists had always scoffed, was 
being rudely and finally dispelled. Events were proving 
that the tactics pursued by England, Spain, and the United 
States in order to guard their several interests overseas 
could only be met on the part of Germany by the adoption 
of like tactics. 

./The year 1875 marked a distinct change in the attitude of 

'Bismarck toward the commercial colonialists. Instead of 

his former attitude of antagonism, indifference or mere 

" diplomatic guardianship," he commenced to display an 

active interest in the demands for protection. At the end 

1 Herrfurth, Zeitschrift fur Kolonialpol., 1900, loc. cit., p. 726. 


of the year 1874, Bismarck had appointed von Kiisserow 
Counsellor to the Foreign Office — and had entrusted to him 
the conduct of all the overseas trade affairs. 1 Von Kiis- 
serow was a close friend of Lothar Bucher, almost the onl r 
Prussian official who had been at all in favor of colonies' 
during the years from 1868 to 1871. Influenced by Bucheri 
von Kiisserow had absorbed an enthusiasm for expansion! 
and had proved his zeal by the assiduity with which he had\ 
negotiated the South Sea trade treaties. Indeed, as 
Poschinger says, von Kiisserow's " greatest service to Ger- 
many was that he had gradually overcome Bismarck's ob- 
jection to the annexation of colonies, according to the pro- 
verb ' Gutia cavat lapiden.' " - 

To be sure, the Government did not manifest its altered 
policy toward commercial colonialism all at once, but rather 
by three progressive steps; first, by the registering of pro- 
tests against the interference of other nations; second, by 
the negotiation of treaties of trade and amity involving in 
some instances the acquisition of naval stations ; and finally, 
by the establishment of virtual protectorates. These steps 
formed the usual and inevitable prelude to a definite colonial 

Bismarck initiated the new policy in March, 1875 : he 
sent a vigorous note to Spain protesting against her customs 
regulations which were hampering German trade in the 
Zulu Islands. On this occasion, he wrote : " Since the 
German Government has hitherto entirely refrained from 
following any definite colonial policy, it is all the more called 
upon to defend its trade from attack .... Spain cannot, 
according to any of the outworn mercantilist theories of 

1 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 18. Cf. p. 61, note 4. 

8 Poschinger, " Aus der Denkwurdigkeit Heinrich von Kiisserow," 
Deutsche Revue, February, iqo8, p. 189. 


a past age of discovery, assert her sovereignty over lands 
hitherto open to trade, where German merchants have 
founded factories and depots at great cost, sacrifice and 
trouble." x Spain left the note unanswered but desisted 
from her customs demands. 

Also, in the same year, on April 2y, 1875, the Foreign 
Secretary von Biilow directed the German Ambassador, 
Count Munster in London, to call the attention of the 
British Government to the claims of the German settlers in 
Fiji. 2 England vouchsafed no response, however, but Bis- 
marck, in consequence of another adverse report from the 
consul at Levuka concerning Fijian affairs, adopted a much 
more emphatic tone and instructed the German Ambassador 
in London, " to lose no opportunity, to make it understood 
that the Imperial Government has a vital' interest in th-e 
welfare of its subjects overseas." 3 

The diplomatic correspondence concerning the unindem- 
nified and " robbed " Germans in the South Seas, dragged 
on and on. It became more and more heated, it magnified 
the German grievance against England's " crowding policy," 
and proved a potent influence in the development of the 
colonial movement. 

J Meanwhile, the Government advanced a second step. It 
determined upon a policy of trade protection more vigorous 
than that of mere protest, with which to combat the imper- 
ialistic actions and designs of England, the United States 
and Spain in the South Pacific, as well as to demonstrate 

' its vital interest in the welfare of its subjects over seas." 

This second stage of the new policy was marked by 
the treaties of trade and amity drawn up between the years 
jfrom 1876 to 1879. In these treaties the German Govern - 

1 Anlagen des Deutschen Reichstagcs, 1875, Aktenstiick, no. 205. 
1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 186. 
Ibid., p. 187. ride, also, IVeissbuch, 1885, pt. ii, pp. 5-6. 


ment finally departed from its hitherto ineffective custom of 
merely guaranteeing the independence and safety of its 
overseas subjects by diplomacy and consular protection. It/ 
was forced thereto, as we have seen, by the politico-econ- 
omic crisis created by the activities of commercial colonial- 
ism. As Bismarck expressed it in the preamble to the 
Samoan Treaty, " Should the empire continue its policy of 
refusing the acquisition of colonies which has been followed 
heretofore, it would be all the more imperative for it to 
preserve the neutrality of its overseas settlements, and, at 
the same time, to establish the complete equality of op- 
portunity for Germany with all other nations." x 

A brief account of the negotiation of the treaties of trade 
and amity will make clearer the circumstances of their 
origin as well as the influence of commercial colonialism 
upon their consummation. The Tongan Treaty introduced 
the new policy. The immediate causes of its negotiation 
were the crisis in the South Seas, rumors that England 
contemplated more annexations, the conclusion of a com- 
mercial treaty between the United States and the Sandwich 
Islands, and the conviction that the only independent islands 
remaining, as well as the most valuable to German trade, 
were the Samoan and Tongan groups. In 1875, Germanyf 
sent the S. S. Gazelle to spy out the land in the South Seas 
Archipelago. Her commander anchored in the harbor of 
Nukualofa on December 13, 1875; he saluted the Tongan; 
flag and assured the king that he desired nothing more than 
to obtain news of German settlers. King George received 
him very cordially and seized the opportunity to let it be 
known that he desired a treaty with Germany 2 (according 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cih, vol. iii, pp. 714-715. 

* A n lag en des Dentschcn Reichstages, 1877, Aktenstuck no. 80, pp. 279 
et seq. 


to the German account). On her way home, the Gazelle 
stopped at Apia in Samoa where her captain obtained the 
first information of the civil war described above. His re- 
port, taken in conjunction with consular and mercantile 
advices described fully the revolutionary state of affairs and 
their threatening menace to German interests, and finally in- 
duced the German Government to order the steamship 
Hertha to proceed from the East Asian Coast to Samoa. 1 
The captain of the Hertha was instructed to cooperate with 
Consul Weber in maintaining the strict neutrality of Ger- 
many in the civil conflicts, in encouraging the establishment 
of a strong government, and in obtaining treaties of amity. 
'The steamship Hertha arrived in Samoa on October 2, 1876, 
but the turbulent condition of the islands precluded a suf- 
ficiently stable government with which to negotiate treaties. 
Her captain then proceeded to Tonga where he began 
negotiations with King George on October 2J, 1876. The 
result was the Tongan Treaty of November 1, 1876, which 
guaranteed reciprocal commercial freedom and ceded to 
Germany the right of establishing a naval station on the 
Vavao Islands. 2 

In Germany, the Reichstag discussed the Tongan Treaty 
on April 1 1, 1877, and ratified it on April 20, with little or 
no opposition. Everyone spoke in favor of it with the ex- 
ception of Prince Radziwill, the Catholic Centrist, who 
thought it might be interpreted by England and France as 
a political move, and regretted exceedingly that the promot- 
ers of the treaty seemed more interested in its commercial 
.advantages than in its cultural and religious opportunities.'' 
/ The discussions in the Reichstag emphasized two salient 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. Hi, pp. 714-715. 

' Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 5. 

a Verhandlungen des DeMtschen Reichstages, April 20, 1877, p. 634. 


points : first, that the treaty was a new departure in policy ;/ 
and second, that it inaugurated a policy of trade protection 
and not one of colonization, — in other words, that it was 
commercial rather than political. 

" I welcome this treaty as the beginning of a new policy,'' 
said Dr. Kapp. 1 " Every German patriot must be filled 
with joy to see this new policy of the Foreign Office," ad- 
ded Dr. Bunsen." 

Von Philippsohn, Director of the Foreign Office, implied 
that it was the earnest desire and aim of the administration 
to protect German trade. He said : " A corner stone only 
is laid .... We have been considering this treaty for a 
long time on account of the important settlements which the 
Hanse Towns have made in these islands. But the circum- 
stances had to be favorable." 3 

Not the slightest hint of an intended colonial policy ap- 
peared in the debates or in any documents relative to the 
treaty. Indeed, the preamble to the treaty expressly and 
emphatically stated in regard to Article V, providing for the 
acquisition of a naval base, that, 

This should not be considered as the establishment of a colony, 
an idea which the Government distinctly and particularly repu- 
diates. . . . The negotiators of the treaty purposely disregarded 
the opportunity of establishing a settlement (colony), and in 
accordance with the intention of the Imperial Government, secured 
the necessary land only for a naval base. . . . Also, in order that 
there should be no doubt that this settlement would not serve as 
an annexation to the German Empire, the term " coaling station " 
was significantly employed and the full sovereignty of the King 
of Tonga was expressly guaranteed.* 

1 V erhandlungen des Deutschcn Reichstages, April 11, 1877, p. 378. 

'Ibid., April 29, 1877, p. 634. 

1 Ibid. 

* Anlagen des Deutschen Reichstages, 1877, Aktenstiick no. 80, p. 283. 


Were any further proof necessary to substantiate the fact 
that, at this time, the administration contemplated no actual 
colonial annexation, but only overseas trade protection, we 
have Bismarck's pencilled notes upon the margin of the 
'proposed Tongan Treaty, "What is a coaling station? 
Only a harbor or bay on the coast? Harbors for our ex- 
clusive use ? .... I am concerned lest we become involved 
in something similar to an imperial colonial policy by a 
factitious support of the navy." 1 And Bismarck stub- 
bornly persevered in refusing to establish the coaling station 
in Tonga authorized by the treaty. 2 Nevertheless, the 
initial step of an imperial colonial policy had been taken, a 
naval base had been officially acquired, and had it been oc- 
cupied, as Delavaud says, Germany's colonialism would have 
dated from 1876. 3 

Concurrently with the Tongan Treaty, the Government 
also adopted a more energetic policy toward Spain in re- 
gard to trade in the Zulu Islands. Although Spain had 
desisted from her customs demands after Germany's and 
England's note of March 4, 1875, sne na d interfered with 
the German Steamship Minna as well as with German and 
English merchants. For a long time Germany received no 
reply from Madrid to her many complaints and Spain's pro- 
crastination made her determine to effect a settlement which 
would be final. After protracted negotiations, an agreement 
was reached with Spain, on March 11, 1877, which was 
incorporated into a protocol. 4 Thereby, Spain accorded to 

1 Herrfurth, Zeitschrift fur Kolonialpolitik, 1909, loc. cit., p. 726. 
Vide, also, Poschinger, Kolnisch-e Zeitung, loc. cit., Aug. 31, 1906, a 
quotation from letter from Brauer to von Kiisserow, June 30, 1876. 

1 Deutsche Revue, 1008, loc. cit., p. 189. 

8 Delavaud, " La Colonisation allemande," Annates dc lecolc libre 
des sciences politique*, October, 1887, pp. 523-546. 

* Anlagen des Deutschen Reichstages, 1877, Aktenstiick no. 205, pp. 



Germany and England complete freedom of trade with 

The opportunity to rear the superstructure of the new- 
policy of trade protection upon the " corner-stone," to which 
von Philippsohn had likened the Tongan Treaty, pre- 
sented itself very speedily. Affairs rapidly shaped them- 
selves for the negotiation of the Samoan Treaty which was 
to extend the practice of trade treaties, in short, to cap the 
climax of that system which the Tongan Treaty had begun. 
The Tongan Treaty had, in fact, accentuated the imperial- 
istic tension and had increased the anxieties of watchful 
waiting. Civil war still persisted in Samoa and Germany 
adopted the aggressive method of stationing war ships near 
the islands to guard her interests ; indeed for that one pur- 
pose, the Government expended 2,609,560 M. from 1877 
to 1880. 1 

Consul Weber strove to preserve the neutrality of the Ger- 
man districts in Samoa amid the clashes of English and 
Americal rivalry. When Malietoa was overthrown, upon 
the arrest of Steinberger, in 1877, and a united government, 
a republic, was established under the patronage of the 
families of Taimoa and Puletua, stability was not yet se- 
cured: for, while the Taimoa party turned to both the 
Queen of England and the President of the United States 
for protection, the Puletua party announced that Samoa 
wished to respect the equality of all nations therein. The 
German consul and the commander of the steamship 
Augusta seized this opportunity to conclude on July 2, 1877, 
with both these parties an agreement which promised pro- 
tection to German settlers and merchants in case of civil 
war or interference from a third party, and which guaran- 
teed the neutrality of Germany. 2 

1 Anlagen des Deutschen Reichstages, 1880, Aktenstiick no. 101, p. 
724, Denkschrift to Samoa Vorlage. 

2 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. Hi, p. 715. 


Germany's agreement with the Samoan Government, of 
course, called forth " demonstrations of power " from both 
England and the United States. Sir Arthur Gordon, Gov- 
ernor of the Fijis, visited the islands in the capacity of 
" Lord High Commissioner," and established a court to 
judge all differences between English subjects in the Pacific 
and foreigners. 1 His action made it appear as though 
England were premeditating a protectorate or annexation, 
which alarmed the Americans. They feared losing the port 
of Pago-Pago, and in consequence, the United States con- 
cluded a treaty with the Samoan government to establish a 
coaling station at Pago-Pago. 2 

The German Government declared that the American- 
Samoan Treaty conceding advantages to the United States, 
constituted a violation of the German agreement with Samoa 
of 1877, and also that it would not tolerate the aggression of 
Americans upon its trade settlements. It therefore sent into 
Oceania the S. S. Ariadne, which anchored at Apia on June 
28, 1878. On July 4, German warships occupied Apia and 
Saluafata on the Opolu Islands where German factories 
were located. The Germans forcibly expelled many Cali- 
fornia traders and began to fortify these two port->. 
Furthermore in November, 1879, the German Government 
ap}K>inted Captain Zembsh as Official Consul General to 
the islands of Samoa and Tonga and his instructions seemed 
to indicate the German intention of establishing a protec- 
torate. The reply of the United States to this action was 
to send a warship to guard its interests. Although the 
Berlin Cabinet protested that it did not wish to take posses- 
sion of Samoa, but desired only to protect German commer- 
cial establishments, it had created a " Samoan Crisis." 

1 Annates dc Vecole libre dcs sciences politiques, loc. cit., 1887, p. 533. 
- Crose, American Samoa, Report of Governor (Washington, 1913), 
P. 7- 


Germany next proceeded to turn the " Samoan crisis " to 
her own advantage. On January 16, 1879, the German 
S. S. Albatross joined the S. S. Ariadne at Samoa, and on 
January 24, T879, Captain Werner signed the Samoan 
Treaty of Amity with the de facto Government of Samoa 
(Taimoa-Faipula's), thereby acquiring the right to establish 
a coaling station at Saluafata on the Island of Opolu. Be- 
sides the usual provisions of reciprocal trade advantage, the 
treaty in Article V ceded to Germany " rights which the 
Government of Samoa is forbidden to grant to any other 
nation." Also, the " Samoan Government will not grant to 
any other nation any rights in Apia which it does not grant 
first to Germany." * 

In addition to the Samoan Treaty, other treaties nego- 
tiated by Captain Werner were signed at the same time and 
later with many small islands. The}- assured Germany 
equal rights of trade with other nations as well as additional 
coaling stations. These treaties were: on November 12, 
1878, with the King of Ellice and Gilbert Islands; on Nov- 
ember 29, 1878. with Chiefs of Marshall and Ralick Islands, 
article IX granting to Germany the port of Jaluit as a coal- 
ing station on the Island of Bonham; 2 on November 29, 
1878, with Chiefs of Duke of York Islands and the northern 
coast of New Britain, ceding to Germany two coaling 
stations, Mioko and Makada; s and on April 28, 1879, with 
the Queen of the Society Islands. 3 

A similar attempt to negotiate trade advantages with the 
Leeward Islands near Tahiti was less successful, however. 
In April, 1879, the frigate Bismarck conveying Zembsch, 
the Consul General of Samoa and Tonga, appeared at 

1 Anlagen des Deutschcn Rekhstages, 1879, Aktenstiick no. 239, p. 725. 
Vide, also, British and Foreign State Papers, 1878-1879, p. 241. 
1 Anlagen des Deutschcn Rekhstages, 1879. Aktenstiick no. 239. 
* Ibid., 1880, Aktenstiick no. 10c. 


Raiatea on these islands. The German consul at Tahiti 
joined him and the Germans remained fourteen days, mak- 
ing maps and trying to persuade the chiefs to sign treaties 
of amity and trade which would pave the way for the instal- 
lation of a German consul. The chiefs refused to concede 
any privileges without the advice of England and France. 
The chiefs of Bora-Bora followed their example, even 
though some of them " had accepted as many as five hundred 
cigars from the Germans." 1 

The Reichstag discussed the Samoari Treaty, together 
with the minor treaties with the small islands, on June 13, 
1879, and ratified them by a large majority on June 16. 

The documents and discussions of the Samoan Treaty 
stressed with greater emphasis the two points established by 
the Tongan Treaty debates : on the one hand, they indicated 
most clearly a changed attitude on the part of the Govern- 
ment toward trade protection overseas; and on the other 
hand, they proclaimed the new policy to be limited to trade 
protection only, and not to sanction the founding of colonies. 
Before the treaty was presented to the Reichstag, the official 
Deutscher Reichs Anzeiger published a " categorial explana- 
tion, that the administration did not think of occupying the 
Samoan Islands as a result of the difficulties there; that 
' uberhaupt ' the Government contemplated no< colonial an- 
nexations of any kind." ' Likewise, von Biilow, the 
Foreign Secretary, in presenting the treaty said, " We re- 
gard it as our duty to protect German settlers and trade in 
Samoa, but not to have those settlements regarded as colon- 
lies. We do not wish to found colonies. We desire no 
monopoly against others. We only wish to guarantee the 
rights of German shipping and trade. 

" 3 

1 Annates de I'ecole etc., loc. cit., 1887, p. 534. 

* Fabri, Bedarf Deutschland der Kolonicen? (Gotha, 1879), p. 53. 

* Verhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstages, June 13, 1879, p. 1603. 


To be sure, Dr. Gareis expressed the fear that, 
" Although we have heard repeatedly from all sources that 
the Government does not intend to carry on state^directed 
colonialism, I hope this is true .... but there appear a 
few indications of it ... . as, for instance, the actual ter- 
ritory acquired by the Government, — the harbors of 
Makada and Mioko and the coaling station at Jaluit. If 
these are going to be regarded as still under the state to 
which they belong, then no colonial policy is to be feared ; 
but if they are to be considered as parts of Germany, then 
the treaties mean colonialism." * But von Biilow replied: 
" It is ' durchaus ' no colonial nor monopolistic policy but 
merely the single principle that where I have planted my 
foot, there shall no other man be allowed to place his." 2 

Also, Prince Radziwill pleaded that, " an article should be 
added to the treaty providing for the propagation of reli- 
gion, culture and civilization. Has Germany, the land of 
thought, no other interests to represent in these islands but 
those of the merchant and trader? " 3 But von Kiisserow 
responded : " Since the treaty only concerns our com- 
mercial policy, we cannot insert articles which do not deal 
directly with trade and commerce." 4 

Indeed, the administration registered itself in these de- 
bates as definitely inaugurating a system of trade protec- 
tion. It indorsed even the acquisition and purchase of 
naval stations, the inevitable introduction to annexation, 
although, at the same time, it emphatically denied any in- 
tention of expanding this system into one of actual colon- 

1 Verhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstages, June 13, p. 1612. 
' Ibid., p. 1614. 

* Ibid., June id, p. 1651. 

* Ibid., June 16, 1879, p. 1652. 


However, before the expiration of the year 1879, already 
so replete with examples of a changed administrative at- 
titude, the Government took the third step in its policy 
towards the protection of overseas trade — a step which stop- 
ped just short of actual colonialism. 

After the ratification of the Samoan Treaty, affairs in 
Samoa again grew tumultuous. The troubles between 
Taimoa and the old King Mailetoa had not been settled. 
Sir Arthur Gordon had restored Malietoa to the throne and 
had obtained from him the right to establish a naval sta- 
tion. The German Consul did not oppose the revolution in 
government, but in order not to leave England predominant, 
he concluded with Gordon and the Commander of the 
United States warship Lackawanna a Convention designed 
to maintain order in Samoa. The Convention decreed that 
the port of Apia was henceforth to be governed by a muni- 
cipal administration composed of the consuls of Germany, 
England and the United States and that Malietoa was to 
be recognized as king. 1 Furthermore, the agreement con- 
firmed all Germany's rights acquired by the Samoan Treaty 
of January 24, 1879. 2 The Samoans were now practically 
under the joint protection of Germany, England, and the 
United States. Germany had established a virtual protec- 
torate, although it was a joint one. 

Meanwhile, the German Government was not confining 
its new policy to direct measures, such as treaties of trade 
and amity ; it was furthering the interest of overseas trade 
'by several indirect means. For example in 1879 the Gov- 
ernment suddenly created a special department of the For- 
eign Office to supervise overseas trade which was begin- 
; ning to assume large proportions. However, Bismarck's 

1 Malietoa was solemnly proclaimed king on December 23, 1879, on 
board the S. S. Bismarck in the harbor of Apia. 
* Anlagen dcs Deutsche* Reichstcujes, 1880, AktenstUck no. 101, p. 728. 


" swing to protection," the reversal of the German fiscal 
system in 1879 from free-trade to protective tariff, stands 
out as the most important indirect influence upon com- \ 
mercial colonialism. Indeed recent imperialism is a natural 
and historical corollary to a protective tariff. And in ' 
Germany's case, the repudiation of free trade was a tre- 
mendous stimulus to the colonial movement. The time- 
honored argument, "Colonies are an anachronism in an 
era of cosmopolitanism, are out of spirit with the age,' 1 
could now be completely refuted ; " the spirit of the age " 
had changed. 

It is an interesting question, though essentially outside 
the scope of this discussion, whether the activities of the 
commercial colonialists may not be considered as one of the 
many causes of Bismarck's " swing to protection." Had 
not their efforts demonstrated to Bismarck the utter futility 
of -his dependence upon free-trade, as well as the insepar- 
able connection of trade protection and political prestige? 
Who would appreciate more keenly than the Chancellor that, 
" as a result of the Samoan treaty, all changes henceforth 
in Samoa will depend upon the consent of Germany?" 1 
Bismarck, as we have seen, had trusted, before 1874, to a 
liberal trade policy to open all countries and colonies to 
Germany; and this had worked fairly well so long as 
Gladstone had managed affairs in England. After 1874, 
the doctrines of the Manchester School began to seem more 
ideal than practical; agitation for the revival of protection- 
ism commenced to appear ; with the progress of industry and 
shipping and the increase of population, an imperialistic 
tendency took possession of every nation. The commercial 
colonialists had grasped these changed conditions and had 

1 Annates de I'ecole etc., 1887, loc. cit., p. 535, quoting Nord. Deut. 
Atlg. Zt. 


shown that equality of economic opportunity existed no- 
where for Germany. May not some roots of the imperial 
tariff policy, perhaps, be found in the first responses of the 
Government, reviewed above, to the commercial colonial- 
ists and their importunities for trade protection? Was it 
not a logical step from these first responses of trade pro- 
tection to a thorough-going adoption of a national protec- 
tive tariff? 

We have now reviewed the progressive attitude of the 
Government to commercial colonialism from 1871 to 1879. 
We have observed the administration gradually yielding to 
the pressure exerted by the petitions of the colonialists and 
by the political and economic crises which their activities 
caused. Step by step we have seen the Government ad- 
vance from mere " diplomatic guardianship " to, first, an 
attitude of protest against foreign interference with Ger- 
man overseas merchants and traders, illustrated by the 
notes to Spain and the complaints to England; then, to a 
vigorous policy of direct and indirect protection and sup- 
port, indicated by the Tongan, Samoan and other treaties 
and the adoption of protective tariff; and finally, to the 
introduction of a real, although unacknowledged colonial- 
ism by the acquisition of naval stations and the establish- 
ment of a quasi-protectorate in Samoa. We must now turn 
to the colonial movement itself and note the effect upon it 
of this changed administrative policy. 

We last witnessed the colonial party merely in an em- 
bryonic stage. It consisted of a group of commercial col- 
onialists, who based their claims upon their own achieve- 
ments, who demanded that their commercial ventures be 
protected, and who crystallized themselves into a party by 
the similarity of their attacks upon the Government. By the 
year 1879, these protagonists of expansion had won govern- 
mental protection of overseas trade and had gained solid- 


arity in their common, victory. Emboldened by their suc- 
cess, they still remained in the vanguard of all colonialists, 
and they had the temerity to introduce into the Reichstag 
the subject of state-directed colonialism and the actual ac- 
quisition of territory for colonies. It is significant that 
they did not broach the subject in the Tongan Treaty dis- 
cussions ; but two years later, on the occasion of accepting 
the Samoan Treaty, they openly urged for the first time in 
the Reichstag official annexation of lands overseas. 

The reasons for their confidence are obvious: in 1877, 
the Government had distinctly denied that it regarded the 
naval station acquired by the Tongan Treaty as in any 
sense a colony, and Bismarck had strongly asserted his ob- 
jection even to naval stations; but in 1879, conditions had 
decidedly changed. The first sign of change had been in 
1876, when Liideritz and his friends had presented the 
project of a German colony and protectorate in the Trans- 
vaal. They were not curtly dismissed, as we have already 
noted ; Bismarck's attitude was no longer one of absolute 
refusal, although he still regarded the project as immedi- 
ately impracticable. 1 The Chancellor received the petitioners 
with great courtesy and personally appeared to sympathize 
with their plan. He said that he had studied the question 
of colonies for some years and had concluded that, " A 
great nation like Germany, in the end, could not dispense 
with colonies ; but, as much as he was in principle in favor 
of the acquisition of colonies, the question appeared so 
complicated that he hesitated to embark upon colonization 
without adequate preparation and a definite impulse from 
the nation itself." 2 He added that the political situation 
was also unfavorable at that time — conditioned as it was by 

1 Poschinger, Bismarck als Volkswirt, vol. i, p. 117. Cf. supra, chap, 
ii, p. 49. 
* Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, pp. 3-4. 


the jealousy of France, the sensitiveness of England, the 
Kulturkampf — ; but he held out the hope that something 
might be done in nine or ten years, " when there shall have 
been created a deep-seated, national movement in favor of 
it." Besides this, the Chancellor said, " The internal situa- 
tion must change." * 

Fabri confirms for us the impression of a change in Bis- 
marck's attitude. He wrote in February, 1879, before 
the ratification of the Samoan Treaty, as follows: 

' Regarding the position of the Chancellor, it seems to us 
doubtful whether he really maintains a merely negative at- 
titude in regard to colonization. Until the present time it 
has always been well understood that the watchword in the 
Chancellor's office and in the Foreign Office was to deny 
decisively any purpose of Germany to acquire colonies. But 
whether this decidedly negative policy, on the part of the 
Chancellor, himself, does not mean a ' not yet ' rather than 
a ' n-ot at all,' is today very doubtful." 2 

Moreover, the economic situation, resulting from the 
crisis of 1873, would naturally reinforce a change in Bis- 
marck's point of view ; in fact it exerted no inconsiderable 
influence upon it. The financial crisis of 1873 was aggra- 
vated by the parallel rise of socialism; by the consequent 
anti-socialist legislation; by a diminution of the labor 
market and by an increase in wages. In fact the sugges- 
tion has been advanced that, in order to divert men's minds 
from the social struggle at home, Bismarck was more in- 
clined to encourage colonial adventures abroad. Added to 
this, the startling statistics of emigration could not fail to 
impress the Chancellor. 

• Poschinger, Zcitschrift fur Koloniolpolitik, October, 1009, loc. cit., 
P- 725. 

* Fabri. Bedarf DeutschUmd der Kolonieenf, pp. 54-55. 


Year Number Emigrants 

1871 75,912 

1872 128,243 

1873 "0,414 

1874 47,623 

1875 32,362 

1876 29,626 

1877 21,964 

1878 24,217! 

Also, by the year 1879, the Kulturkampf- was drawing to 
a close, and the Kulturkampf had been mentioned by Bis- 
marck himself as a deterrent to the official consideration of 
colonial expansion. 

It is evident, therefore, that the domestic affairs of the 
nation, together with Bismarck's apparent transition to 
a more sympathetic viewpoint, created favorable conditions 
for the growth of the colonial party. 

Foreign affairs likewise served to advance the colonial 
movement. As they had helped to precipitate governmental 
action abroad, so they justified and strengthened the posi- 
tion of the commercial colonialists at home. A newer 
foreign imperialism was becoming ever more threatening. 
England had commenced her ambitious activities in Egypt 
and in 1877 had annexed the Transvaal; France was on the 
eve of founding her second colonial empire. Furthermore, 
Great Britain continued to ignore Germany's claims in re- 
gard to the indemnities of her Fiji Island settlers. Bis- 
marck had. significantly enough, revived the correspondence 
relative to this question on May 23, 1879. 2 His letter to 
the German Ambassador in London had only elicited on 
June 17. 1879, tne unsatisfactory reply from Lord Salis- 
bury, that the matter had been brought to the attention of 

1 Anlagen des Deutschen Reichstages, 1879, Aktenstiick no. 187, p. 
' Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 187. 


the Colonial Office. Furthermore, the Congress of Berlin 
in 1878 had served to being the German public into closer 
contact with international affairs; it had revealed more 
clearly the aims, ambitions and relative strengths of the 
other great powers, while it must have demonstrated the 
necessity and advisability of Germany's speedy acquisition 
of possessions overseas in order to enable her also to take 
part in the imperialistic game. 

The colonial party was encouraged and fortified by all 
these circumstances — the external and internal political and 
economic conditions, as well as Bismarck's apparently more 
favorable attitude. It saw the latter exemplified in the 
increasingly responsive reaction of the Government to com- 
mercial colonialism, in the definite yielding to demands for 
trade protection overseas, and in the almost aggressive 
actions of 1879 — the acquisition of naval stations, the es- 
tablishment of a protectorate and the adoption of a protec- 
tive tariff. Hence, the leaders of the colonial movement 
were emboldened, as they had not been in 1876, to advocate 
publicly in the Reichstag the next steps of a colonial policy. 
And they dared to do this in spite of the Government's 
official and emphatic repudiations of any colonial inten- 

Mosle, the Bremen merchant of the firm so active in 
presenting the petition of 1870, was the spokesman for the 
new idea that Germany should acquire colonies at once. 1 
He indicated the tremendous strength of German trade in 
the South Seas as an argument for adopting the Samoan 
Treaty, he welcomed the policy of trade protection most 
heartily, and then he suggested that he would like to see the 
policy carried further. 

I am entirely agreed that the German Government should not 

1 Coppius, op. cit., p. 62. 


attempt to seize for itself any monopoly in Polynesia, but I would 
indeed rejoice, should the Government find it advantageous, in 
Polynesia or in any other part of the world, to progress from 
treaties of amity and trade to protectorate treaties, yes, even to the 
annexation or seizure of lands in order to establish its own col- 
onies. Should a favorable occasion arise, I should not hesitate to 
encourage the empire to pursue such a policy at once. . . . The 
arguments against it are unfounded. ... I consider the establish- 
ment of colonies, both for the encouragement of trade and industry, 
and the general prosperous development of the German empire 
and all German interests as not only highly advantageous, but 
indeed necessary. 1 

Mosle went on to recommend state subsidies for steam- 
ship lines to Polynesia, to Japan, and to China. 

The bold demand of the commercial colonialists for a 
thorough-going colonial policy did not pass unchallenged. 
Bamberger, a radical leader of the free-trade party, led the 
opposition to colonialism. 2 He not only attacked the com 
mercial colonialists for taking advantage of the Samoan 
Treaty to press their extreme demands for colonial annexa- 
tions, but he also accused the Government of a secret 
sympathy with colonial policy. In a sarcastic and bitter 
speech he said: "Perhaps Mosle is a truer interpreter of 
Bismarck's and the Government's attitude and position than 
the official press and the preamble to the treaty, as I note 
a difference between these and the opinions expressed by 
their advocates in the Reichstag .... I would certainly 
describe a treaty of amity, such as the Samoan, as cos- 
mopolitan in character, but this one is not. We have heard 

1 Verhandlungen des Deatschen Reichstages, June 16, 1879, pp. 1603 
et seq. 

2 Ludwig Bamberger (1833-1899), a prolific writer on political econ- 
omy and a very influential member of the Reichstag. He belonged to 
the left wing of the National Liberal party, was a bitter enemy of 
Bismarck, and in 1880 was foremost among those who repudiated the 
National Liberal party and formed the Liberate Vereinigung. 


cosmopolitanism decried here in these debates as a difficulty 

.in the way of trade, as a defect in our political system. . . . 

[The Government seems really intent upon adopting a col- 

i onial policy which is beneficial only to trade, very expensive 

I and apt to result in slave labor." * Other members of the 

Opposition raised objections to the treaty on the same 

grounds, and they all confirmed the suspicion that a colonial 

policy was planned by the Government and concealed in the 

Samoan Treaty. 2 

,/The Opposition voted for the treaty in the end, however, 
but only as a treaty of trade and amity. They had evidently 
been convinced by the Government's emphatic disavowals 
f a colonial policy, which they accepted at their face value. 8 
tThe violent antagonism displayed toward the colonialists, 
nevertheless, marked the first cleavage of groups in the 
Reichstag on the colonial question and indicated the appear- 
ance of a definite colonial party in the National Assembly. 

Other signs, also, pointed to the growth, coalescence and 
strength of a colonial party within the nation. Various 
groups which promoted expansion for different reasons 
rallied to the common cause and enlisted their energies 
.under the leadership of the commercial colonialists. For 
example, the Central Association for Commercial Geo- 
graphy and German Interests Abroad, founded in 1868, 4 un- 
derwent a reorganization and reinvigoration. At a meet- 
ing of the Geographical Society at Frankfort on January 
16, 1878, Dr. Franz Moldenhauer presented his pamphlet, 
fDie Eroterung iiber Kolonial und Auswandcrungswesen. 
I He proposed that all the geographical societies (branches of 

1 Verhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstages, June 13, 1879, PP- ^ ll 
ft seq. 

2 Ibid., June 16, 1879, pp. 1650 et seq. 

3 Cf. supra, chap, iv, p. 72. 

4 Cf. supra, p. 51- 


the old Central Association), should unite in a reorganized 
and cooperative effort to promote colonialism and to direct 
emigration. 1 His suggestion was carried out, thanks partly 
to the influence of the meeting of the International Congress f 
for Commercial Geography at Paris in 1878. The result 
was a new society, founded on October 9, 1878, in Berlin, 
by Dr. Jannarsch and Kersten, still called the Central Asso- 
ciation and possessing practically the same objects as the 
original society described above. The new organization, 
according to its constitution, aimed to increase foreign 
trade, to direct emigration, to disseminate knowledge, and, 
most important of all, " to bring about the founding of 
colonies by establishing trade and naval stations." Further- 
more, it continued to publish Der Export, the organ of the 
original society, and issued extensive colonial propaganda. 
It collected all sorts of information for merchants, geogra- 
phers, and industrials, building up a considerable correspon- 
dence. In 1879, tne Central Association sent an exhibit 
of German trade to an exposition in New South Wales and, 
in the year 1883, it opened a Commercial and Geographical 
Museum in Berlin and a library attached. With a steadily 
increasing membership reaching three thousand in 1883, the 
Society became an exceedingly influential factor in crystal- 
lizing public opinion in favor of colonization and in streng- 
thening the colonial party. 

It finally appears that the pressure of commercial colonial- 
ism upon the Government was too strong; that it induced 
the adoption of a vigorous policy of imperial trade protec- 
tion overseas; and that the favorable reaction of the 
Government, in turn, resulted in the formation of a definite 
colonial party. In the words of Mosle, the colonialists wel- 
comed the new administrative policy of trade protection, 

1 Jahrbuch fur Nationalokbnomie und Statistik, 1882, p. 309, nott. 
Vide, also, Schmoller's Jahrbuch, 1880, p. 12. 


not only because " it guarantees the security of their business 
interests abroad," but, principally, because it " contradicts 
Bismarck's supposed indifference to commercial colonialism 
and points the way to a new era," namely, state-directed 
colonialism, the next phase of the expansion movement. 

Colonialism a National and Political Issue 

The promoters of the colonial movement had won a 
significant victory in securing imperial protection for over- 
. seas trade. They lost no time in embarking upon a cam- 
paign for state-directed colonialism and a thorough-going 
policy of annexation. However, they were clever enough 
to remember the Chancellor's objection that state-directed 
colonialism could not be undertaken by the Government 
without a ' deep-seated popular demand and approval.' 
Bismarck's words furnished a cue as to how next to pro- 
ceed; indeed they became a party slogan. It was, as Fabri 
said, " A difficult time in Germany to create a general and 
popular movement of public opinion in favor of colonies, 
which would overcome the party quarrels, . . . especially 
as the colonial party is lacking in political experience and 
individuality as well as in any influence or weight." 1 
Nevertheless, the leaders devoted themselves to the task 
with diligence. 

To achieve their purpose of making colonialism a political 
and national issue, the colonial partisans adopted three poli- 
cies. They disseminated propaganda ; they sought to create 
political influence for the colonial party in order to render it 
an important factor in party politics; and they exerted a 
special economic pressure upon the Government. 

An idea of the efficacy and scope of the first part of their 
program may be obtained by a survey of the propagandist 

1 Fabri, op. cit., p. 54. 
85] 85 


literature during the years from 1879 to 1881. At least the 
quantity which they produced was impressive : forty books 
appeared upon the subject of colonization from 1880 to 
1882. x All the propaganda was alike in that it based the 
arguments for colonial expansion upon vital political eco- 
nomic necessity and carried a stirring appeal to patriotic 
emotion, not without a certain jingoistic ring. 
^Foremost among the propagandists stood Hiibbe-Schlei- 
den and Fabri. 2 The former, a lawyer and statesman, was 
interested in a mercantile house in Hamburg, had been an 
explorer in equatorial Africa, and a merchant from 1875 to 
1877 in Gabun. The latter, for twenty-seven years In- 
spector of the Rhine Mission, which, it will be remembered, 
engaged largely in trade in Namaqualand, became convinced 
of Germany's need of colonies and had devoted himself to 
the cause. He had promoted it by his books, by his articles 
in the Kolnische Zeitung and elsewhere, by his speeches 
at innumerable gatherings, and by a many-sided correspon- 
dence with friends of a colonial policy and with the great 
industrials. Fabri occupied the position of honorary pro- 
fessor at the University of Bonn, and founded in 1880 at 
Diisseldorf the West Deutch Verein fur Kolonisation mid 
Export. 5 Hubbe-Schleiden later became business manager 
of this society. Under Woermann's influence, the organ- 
ization tried to induce bankers to finance a plantation colony 

1 lahrbuch filr Nationalokonomie und Statistik, 1884, p. 327. 

1 Mosle cited these two writers in the debates over the Samoan Treaty 
and urged that the Bureau of the Reichstag purchase copies of their 
books [Hiibbe-Schleiden, Die Ethiopieen: Studieen iiber West Afrika 
(Hamburg, 1879), an attempt to arouse interest in these sub-tropical 
people as affording a market for Germany. Fabri, Bedarf Deutschland 
der Kolonieen (Gotha, 1879)] and distribute them to all members of 
the national assembly. Verhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstages, 
June 13, 1879, p. 604. 

s Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, vol. xlviii, pp. 473-475- 


in Kameroon. Indeed, it is significant that both Hubbej- 
Schleiden's and Fabri's writings received the warm supf 
port and patronage of the firm of Woermann, which publicly 
expressed the hope that they might fall on fruitful ground 
so that steps would immediately be taken before all avail- 
able territory was seized by other powers. 1 

Thus we see that the two leading propagandists repre- 
sented within their lives and experience all the various cur- 
rents making for a colonial policy and underlying the 
" colonial idea." In presenting colonialism as a national 
and political question, however, they subordinated their 
ecclesiastical, intellectual and scientific interests to the com- 
mercial and economic. 

Primarily, we may say, Hubbe-Schleiden represented the 
political and Fabri the economic aspects of the question. It 
is Hubbe-Schleiden, however, who must be credited with 
having been the first to elevate the subject of acquiring 
colonies to the plane of a distinctively national policy. A 
most prolific writer upon colonialism and a tremendously in- 
fluential factor in the movement, his viewpoint is by far 
the most original and significant of any of the propagand- 
ists. He is the prophet of a new era for Germany; an era 
to be characterized by an intense, overgrown nationalism, 
developing into a grasping imperialism, which was to lead 
straight along the road to ultimate downfall. He it was 
who cleverly linked up colonialism with the contemporary 
transformation in the W eltanschauung of the empire, from 
a liberal, laissez-faire cosmopolitanism and internationalism 
to a conservative, individualized and narrow nationalism; 
and in so doing, he served further to accentuate and ac- 
celerate that change. He made the solution of the colonial 
question dependent upon the already visible shift in the 

1 Mitteilungen der Hamburg-Geographische Gesellschaft, 1878-1879, p. 
58, quoted by Zimmermann, op. cit.. p. 23. 


national mind of Germany; he identified himself and colon- 
ialism with the " younger generation," the more advanced 
thinkers, and thereby gained for the movement that stimulat- 
ing quality inherent in all movements which claim to have 
escaped from the reactionaries and to be apprehended only 
by " more enlightened minds." 

pJ A quotation from Schiller's Wilhchn Tell on the fly leaf 
of Hiibbe-Schleiden's book, Dcutsch Kolonisation,' 1 " Es 
lebt cin andcrs-denkendes Geschlecht," gives us the key note 
to his thesis. " To the old generation, the term ' nationality ' 
has only an ethnographical content, but for the younger it 
■has a political." Hence the outworn international idea 
! clung to by the past generation must not be allowed to block 
the ambitions of the present. That would mean suicide for 
^Germany. " The luxury of a cosmopolitan Weltanschauung 
can only be indulged in by the Great Powers, not those who 
still must struggle for greatness." This cosmopolitan- 
ism, he thinks, is too idealistic, too colorless; the practical 
fact remains that nations exist. As he phrases it, " This 
striving after cosmopolitanism, this internationalism, is to- 
day, for any non- Anglo-Saxon race, only a betrayal of its 
individual nationality to the English. . . . Germany has for 
one hundred years sacrificed its civilization to England." 

Hubbe-Schleiden emphasized the fact that the develop- 
ment of a self-conscious national feeling as well as of a 
strong overseas policy, which in trade and emigration 
acknowledge only a national flag, were questions of life and 
death for Germany's future. " Los von Nord Amerika, 
Los von Gross-Britanicn," was his slogan. 

In order to demonstrate how the German nation, racially, 
economically and culturally might ultimately be absorbed by 
Great Britain, he drew a most graphic picture of the future, 
well calculated to strike terror into the soul of every patriot 

1 Hiibbe-Schleiden, Deutsche Kolonisation (Hamburg, 1881). 

8 9 ] 


8 9 


and incidentally to incite a keen jealousy of England. He 
attempted to depict the result in the year 1980 of the 
gradual absorption of German emigrants into other lands, 
an absorption caused by the non-existence of German colon- 
ies. Estimating by the contemporary rate of emigration, 
he constructed the following table. 

Race 1850 1875 1980 

English 55,817,000 00,564,000 007,000,000 

German 52,930,000 64,470,000 146,000,000 

Dutch 7,500,000 9,202,000 20,500,000 

Scandinavian 6,272,000 8,134,000 24,300,000 

Russian 63,010,000 83,790,000 275,000,000 

Romance (Latin) 113,142,000 127,588,000 212,202,000 1 

Germany then, by the year 1980, would be in the present 
position of Spain as a nation and the Germans would be the 
slaves of England. 

Likewise he exposed the " Free-Trade Parody," as he ' 
termed it. He showed how the practice of free trade, in- 
stead of creating equal opportunity for all merchants, had 
enabled England to increase her control of world trade 
within two decades (1855-1875) from sixty-one percent 
to seventy percent. 

A natural corollary to the foregoing argument was Ger- j 
rnany's mission to spread her Kultur as a means of main- 
taining Deutschtum. " In this manner a country exhibits 
before the world, her strength or weakness as a nation." 
As Hubbe-Schleiden said, " How many inventions or dis- 
coveries are made by Germans decades before they are even 
thought of by Englishmen or by Frenchmen but are adver- 
tised to the word as of English or of French origin. 
Hence prestige and Kultur become submerged." 3 

1 Hubbe-Schleiden, op. cit., p. 38. 

2 Hiibbe-Schleiden, op. cit., p. 48. 
s Ibid., p. 41. 


J In this same connection Hubbe-Schleiden emphasized the 
fact that it was Germany's duty to expand and preserve her 
Kiiltur not only for her own sake, but to advance the cause 
of world civilization. He also made this idea clear in an 
article entitled, Kulturfahigkcit der Neger, in which he 
pleaded that German Kultur if spread in Africa, would 
mean progress for the whole negro race. Unfortunately, 
we gain the impression that this would be true only if 
Africa proved " good business ; " if not, the negro was in- 
capable of culture. 

In presenting such a conviction of the necessity for colon- 
ial expansion, it was but the next step to harp upon the 
" honor of Germany." This " honor " now demanded, Hiib- 
be-Schleiden claimed, annexation to preserve the political 
position of the Fatherland, just as commercial colonialism 
bad required a protective tariff. Indeed it did not demand 
much insight on the part of these national and colonial en- 
thusiasts to cause them to point out various circumstances 
propitious for the speedy adoption of an annexationist 
policy, such as the new grouping of the powers after the 
German treaty with Austria in 1879; the growing strength 
of the navy after the Naval Bill of 1878; and the oppor- 
tunity to attack other powers on economic grounds which 
a colonial policy would readily afford. 

Supporting Hiibbe-Schleiden in emphasizing the national- 
political aspect of colonialism were such men as E. von 
Weber, 1 who recommended the annexation of the Transvaal, 
Moldenhauer, 2 and Herman Wagner. 3 And many publi- 
cations of the Central Association advanced similar ideas. 
The following extract is an example : " We are convinced 
that the organization of German emigration is a phase in the 

1 E. von Weber, op. cit. 
1 Moldemhauer, op. cit. 
Wagner, Uber Griindung dcutschcn Kolonicen (Heidelberg, 1S81). 



evolution of Germany towards independence. Just as the 
war of 1813 defeated the foreign invader, just as the revo- 
lution of 1848 made for freedom, just as the year 1866 
delivered Germany from Austria, and finally just as the year 
1870 rescued Germany from French domination, so today, 
in economic life, our slogan should be ' Los von Gross- 
Britanien, los von Nord Amerika? These words will lead 
to the establishment of pure German colonies and the expan- 
sion of Deutschtiim." 1 

The economic side of the " question of life and death ' 
for Germany was also exploited to the utmost by propa 
ganda and here it is Fabri who takes the lead. He wrot 
in 1879, when he thought the fiscal and commercial crisis 
would win for him a ready ear. He represented Germany 
in his book, Bedarf Deutschland der Kolonieenf as 
economically threatened and emphasized the social results 
of non-colonization. He presented the question as one not 
so much of political power and prestige as of actual national 
and material existence. " The colonial question is not pri- 
marily a political Machtfrage. It is much more a Kuttur- J 
frage. Economic needs in connection with general national/ 
crisis demand colonies." 2 

Fabri dealt in a practical manner with the ideas of the 
colonial theorists upon emigration and focussed attention 
upon what was rapidly becoming a dominant motive for 
expansion, the ever-swelling stream of emigrants from the 
Fatherland. Like the colonialists, he regarded emigra- 
tion not as an isolated question, in the manner of the old 
economists, but as a subject closely connected with national 
and social questions. Many other writers between the years 
1879 and 1 88 1 followed his lead in this respect. 

1 Der Export, no. 38, Sept., 1880, quoted by Hubbe-Schleiden in 
Deutsche Kolonisation, p. 1. 

2 Fabri, op. cit., p. 56. 


Some idea of the emigration situation which furnished 
propagandists like Fabri and later writers with their alarm- 
ing arguments may be gained by a glance at the following 

from Germany 


Number of Emigrants 




570,000 » 





to America. 

to America from ports of Ham- 
burg, Bremen, Antwerp, Stettin. 2 

Pointing to these figures, Fabri led the way in urging 
state-directed emigration for the purpose of conserving Ger- 
many's very life. He demonstrated graphically and alarm- 
ingly how the constant loss to the Fatherland of youth, 
talent, skill, business ability and initiative (for it is always 
the best who go) , was continually depleting Germany of her 
vitality. As Moldenhauer expressed it, " This stream of 
emigrants going out with all it has, furnishing knowledge 
and skill to our national enemies, is a tax in gold and blood 
paid by Germany to foreign lands." 3 And he reckoned the 
tax at 300,000,000 M. annually. 

Moreover, here was the economic situation at home of 
which the large emigration was only a symptom. Fabri, 
Professor Herman Wagner 4 of the University of Got- 
tingen, Adolph Wagner, 5 Weber, Frey, Hubbe-Schleiden, 6 

1 Herrfurth, Bismarck und die Kolonialpolitik (Berlin, 1909), p. 23. 

- Jahrbuch fur Nationalokonomie und Statisiik, 1882, p. 211. 
Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. i, p. 71. 

3 Fabri, op. cit., p. 16. 

4 Wagner, H., Uber Griindung Deutschcn Kolonieen (Heidelberg, 

5 Wagner, A., " Volksmehrung und Auswanderung," Augs. Allg. Zt., 
1880, nos. 160-170. 

•Hubbe-Schleiden, Weltwirtschaft und die Sie triebcne Kraft (Ham- 
burg, 1881). 


Geffcken and many others, all pointed out that only the f 
acquisition of colonies could solve problems arising from 
the increase of population at home (a preponderance of 
birth rate over death rate amounting to 600,000 annually), 
the consequent overstocking of the home market with both 
men and money, the lack of sufficient opportunity for in- 
vestment, the necessity for raw materials, — all those condi- 
tions, in fine, which caused the material evil of emigration. 
They argued that capital was now engaged in wild specula- 
tion at home rather than in normal investment abroad ; that 
even with the over-supply of the labor market, men of the 
first calibre were lacking for business enterprise, because 
they had emigrated to seek a less stifled atmosphere for 
the exercise of their ability. ' The rapid increase of our 
universities has been our national pride; but it will cease 
to be so if our educated youth are not satisfied." As they 
expressed it, " The superfluity of life and activity, the am- 
bitious spirit of youth, satisfied neither by work nor by in- 
terest, cry aloud, ' Let us live instead of dream.' : These 
propagandists went so far as to assert that " all the govern- 
mental, ecclesiastical and civil posts are over-crowded ; and 
this situation together with the consequent enlarged com- 
petition is by far the most pressing problem. Markets 
for production, fields for labor and capital, are needed both 
to preserve German's nationality in Europe and to prevent 
its loss to other countries through emigration." 1 All sorts 
and kinds of statistics were adduced and manipulated to 
prove over-population, over-production of manufactured 
goods, insufficient increase in means of subsistence to keep 
pace with the growth of population, loss of man power and 
lack of efficient military service. And, it was claimed, 
social disorders and industrial unrest resulted therefrom, in 

1 Hubbe-Schleiden>, Die Ethiopien (Hamburg, 1879). 


which socialism had its roots. Hiibbe-Schleiden in his 
Ubcrseeische Politik, a KultuncirtscJiaftliche Stndie, 1 later 
dwelt upon this aspect. " More than anything else, the 
narrow, economic horizon of our nation is the cause of our 
lack of well-being, and the Germans are above everything 
else good peasants and good school masters." Fabri be- 
came so pessimistic about Germany's future without the 
adoption of a state-directed colonialism and a national direc- 
ion of emigration, that he prophesied dire social and econo- 
mic results, as follows : " Increasing imports of grain and 
beef, because German agriculture cannot meet the need, a 
resulting and ever increasing high cost of living, constantly 
decreasing wages, a lowered production of manufactured 
goods, ... a rapid growth of pauperism and social need." 2 
'Like Hiibbe-Schleiden, he laid great emphasis upon the mis- 
sion of Germany and the task assigned her by universal 
|iistory to spread Kultur. " Where semi-barbaric civiliza- 
tions exist, the annexation of their lands by a great, strong 
power is an act of humanity," 3 he said. 

Nor did all this politico-economic national propaganda 
lose itself in mere theory and dire prognostications of evil. 
Hiibbe-Schleiden, Fabri, Weber, all in fact, make definite 
recommendations for possible German colonies. With their 
slogan, " Los von Nord Amerika, los von Gross Britanien," 
they cried also a definite "Nach," — to agricultural colonies In 
South Africa, in Australia, and in South America, especially 
in Brazil (some of them even not hesitating to contemplate a 
a conflict with the United States in the quest). They urged 
the foundation of trading colonies on the coast and in the 
interior of Africa, in Madagascar, in the Indian Archi- 

1 Hiibbe-Schleiden, Uberseeische Politik (Hamburg, 1881-1883). 
J Fabri, op. cit., p. 20. 
•Ibid., p. 57- 


pelago, and in Borneo. A group of travelers and mission- 
aries joined the campaign; they omitted the theory of colon- 
ialism but supported the movement by recommendations de- 
rived from personal experience. To- cite but a few, Karl 
von Scherzer * urged Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala ; 
Richard Dilthey 3 promoted the idea of further colonization 
in Southern Brazil. Uruguay, Argentina; Liesenberg 3 ex- 
tolled Argentina and Paraguay; Wolfing 4 and Blaser, who 
assumed that Germany would go to war for colonies, 
revived the question as a Machtfrage and advised activity 
in Morocco, Tunis, and Tripoli ; Griinewald 5 recommended 

Naturally, the flood of literature just reviewed, with its 
attempt to make the colonial question a national issue, did 
not go unchallenged by the opponents of a colonial policy. 
Indeed, the warfare of pamphlets, books and words that 
ensued, served, at least indirectly, the object of the colonial 
party to make the subject one of nation-wide discussion. 

The combatants of overseas expansion consisted, in the 
main, of the old generation of cosmopolitans. They defined 
the issue squarely as one of nationalism versus interna- 
tionalism, and opposed the struggle of the colonial party to 
raise the debate to a national plane. Prominent among the 
opponents was such a man as Dr. Friedrich Kapp, the great 
mediator between Germany and the Germans in the United 

1 von Scherzer, Die Deutsche Arbeit in Fremden Erdtheilen (Leipzig, 

* Dilthey, Die Deutsche Ansiedlungen in Siidbrasilien, etc. (Berlin, 

8 Liesenberg, Wohin Auswandern oder Deutschland iiber dem Meer 
(Berlin, 1881). 

* Wolfing, Der Erwerb von Ackerbau und Handelskolonieen (Koln, 

5 Griinewald, Wie Kann Deutschland Kolonialbesitz Erwerbenf 
(Mainz, 1879). 


States, where he had lived for twenty years and where he 
had been commissioner for emigrants from 1866 to 1871. 1 
From his experience he enjoyed a well-earned reputation on 
all colonial questions, and had also gained a high position as 
a scholar. His outlook was distinctly international and 
cosmopolitan. He believed in emigration and did his ut- 
most to encourage the expansion of the German people. 
His purpose in doing so, however, was rather to extend 
German Kultur so that it might fuse with and enrich an 

' international race; " not to perpetuate nor to increase any 
single national or political power. He represented the 
thought of a generation of Germans against whom Hiibbe- 
Schleiden directed his attacks. Indeed, Hubbe-Schleiden's 
book, Deutsche Kolonisation was a reply to Kapp's Uber 
Colonisation und Auswanderung 2 in which Kapp argued 
that the " international protection of emigrants is the most 
pressing question of the day." He deplored the proposed 
adoption of a state-directed emigration as a definite attack 
upon individual liberty. Philippsohn, an association of 
Dr. Kapp, a prosaic Hamburg business man, without much 
knowledge of the historic background, presented the point 
of view of the free-trade merchant. He illustrated the 
radical difference between the cosmopolitan and the national 
schools of thought when he said, " The German merchant ig 
not, as they (the nationalists) want to make us think, a 
pariah among foreigners; just as little is the German emi- 
grant. The position of the Germans abroad is an honorable 
one and the word Vdlkcrdilngcr is a senseless term which 
aims at the sensational but can only impress the ignorant." 3 
Hubbe-Schleiden answered Philippsohn by saying, " No one 

1 AUgemeine Deutsche Biographie, vol. li, pp. 32-36. 

* Kapp, F., Uber Colonisation und Auswanderung (1880). 

3 Philippsohn, F., " Uber Colonisation," V olkswirtschaftliche Zeit- 
fragen, vol. xii-xiii, p. 66. 


claims that our merchants and emigrants are pariahs. On 
the contrary, they are often very influential persons and it 
is because of this that they have won the title, Volker- 
diinger. It is our people's honor that they are callqd 
Vdlkcrdiinger, but it is our nation's shame. Our nation 
has so far played a pitiful role in the world. But this dis- 
grace may rest upon our old generation; the younger gen- 
eration will endure it no longer, in spite of Herr Philippsohn 
and his companions." x 

Other supporters of the negative side of the controversy 
were Peltz, 2 Loehnis, 3 Fritz, 4 and Zacharias, 5 the last named 
being a member of the Malthusian League. Their principal 
arguments against state-directed colonialism may be sum- 
marized as follows. They considered that the Germans in 
the United States were far better off than those living in 
South America and that it was to the political interest of 
Germany to form independent national groups within the 
United States. They thought it unlikely that state-directed 
emigration would relieve the problem of over-population. 
They asserted, moreover, that in comparison with English, 
French and Scandinavian emigration, Germany's emigra- 
tion was much less. They argued that German coloniza- 
tion would only be an imitation of the English who were 
far better fitted for it in every way, that colonization had 
never been the real tradition of Germany; and that Germany 
was furthermore lacking in all proper facilities for it, pos- 
sessing neither a coast on an open sea nor an adequate navy. 
The Fatherland, they asserted, controlled an immense trade 
already, international trade was profitable to her at the 

1 Hiifobe-Schleiden, Deutsche Kolonisation, p. 16. 

2 Peltz, Katechismus der Auswanderttng (Leipzig, 1881). 

3 Loehnis, Die Enrop'dische Kolonieen (Bonn, 1881). 

4 Fritz, Zur Auswandcrungsfrage (Wien, 1879). 

5 Zacharias, Die Bevolkerungsfrage etc. (Hirschberg, 1880). 


time, private trade interests should not be fostered, and 
trade did not always " follow the flag." They feared that 
agricultural colonies would mean slavery for the natives, 
tyranny, wars; that penal colonies would prove demoraliz- 
ing and would prevent the proper treatment of crime. 
They contended that Germany's best statesmen realized that 
her true interests lay in Europe; that colonies would entail 
conflicts with other Powers and enormous expense; and 
that expansion into eastern and southern Europe was much 
more necessary, for Germany's aim should be, above all, to 
become the arbiter of the destinies of Europe. 1 Fritz and 
Loehnis, especially, urged colonization in Turkey, Poland, 
and Hungary ; 2 while Loehnis specifically urged expansion 
in the Balkans. Philippsohn accused the colonial partisans 
of exploiting the national principle, of using it as a " mask 
of patriotism " to hide their desire for colonies. He care- 
fully dissected the arguments of Fabri and Weber, one by one, 
and refuted them. He pointed out that all colonial enthu- 
siasts had painted a picture in many respects far too black 
and indeed glaringly incorrect. 3 For instance, he showed 
that, during the last twenty years German exports had con- 
tinually increased instead of decreased ; that criminal statis- 
tics, used as arguments for penal colonies, were erroneous ; 
that the development of the navy was exaggerated by Fabri ; 
that no such crisis due to the tariff as Fabri represented 
existed. He proved by statistics that, according to the 
population, the percentage of emigration had decreased, 
and that although the cost of living had increased, wages 
had increased also, as proved by savings banks accounts, 

'Gebauer, H., articles in Augsburg Allg. Zt., Beilage, 1882, nos. 18, 
20, 22, 25, 28, 30. 

3 Fritz, op. cit., Loehnis, op. cit., and Die Dent. Kolonialprojecte und 
der Enrop'dische Siidosten (Bonn, 1881). 

3 Philippsohn, op. cit., passim. 


and the prosperity of the working class. He claimed that 
it was incorrect to argue that wages would decrease because 
of increasing population, since the land of Germany was 
capable of greater cultivation and development. He also 
asserted that the statistics regarding the loss of man-power 
and capital overseas were unreliable, Moldenhauer reckon- 
ing them at 15,000,000 M. annually 1 and Weber at 
23,000,000 M. 2 In this same connection, Gebauer proved 
by figures that Germany was not over-populated 3 and 
Philippsohn argued that, since the cost of state-directed 
emigration was very heavy, it would drive more men away 
to escape taxation, while only those would remain in Ger- 
many who made their living by taxes and monopolies. 

Thus, these anti-expansionists pleaded for greater de- 
liberation and a more correct knowledge of facts. " The 
exaggerations of the colonialists have long been recognized 
as the efforts of interested speculators," they said. As in- 
ternationalists they thought that colonies were unnecessary, 
indeed, that they would be deleterious to German life. 

Turning from the literary efforts and the propagandist 
campaign of the colonial party, we must observe its activity 
in the political field ; for clever manipulations here consti- 
tuted the second phase of its policy which was designed 
to render colonialism a national and political question. 
" The colonial party has no political identity or in- 
dependence," said Fabri in 1879. But its leaders set them- 
selves at once to the task of creating an " identity and inde- 
pendence." 4 No one realized better than they the neces- 
sity of achieving a definite party status; and the existing 

1 Moldenhauer, op. cit. 

1 Weber, Die Erweiterung des Dent. Wirtschaftsgebiete (Leipzig, 

3 Gebauer, Augs. Allg. Zt., Beilage no. 18. 

4 Fabri, op. cit., p. 53. 


political situation, with its changing issues and shifting 
groups, afforded them at once an opportunity which they 
were not slow to grasp. A brief review of the domestic 
politics in Germany towards the close of the seventies will 
be necessary to illustrate the chances afforded to the colonial 
partisans of entering the arena of public life and thereby 
achieving a " political independence." 

The year 1878 in Germany clearly marked the end of the 
" liberal era " and a definite reversion to the principles of 
conservatism. In the first place, the state of national psy- 
chology indicated the return to a reactionary point of view. 
The period from the years 1867 to 1878 had been a time of 
great theorizing, of extended discussion about general laws, 
of juridical debates, of the Kulturkampf; but after 1878, 
people no longer stressed theory — they were more concerned 
with practical interests. The economic progress of Ger- 
many and universal suffrage were largely responsible for 
the change. Since 1867, men had learned something prac- 
tical in polity. " They began to ask themselves, ' What 
do you want of the man whom you send to Berlin?' 1 
They wanted their business concerns attended to.' Be- 
fore 1878, economic interests did not predominate as back- 
grounds to political parties; after 1878, they did. After 
1878 the Kulturkampf and theories of government ceased to 
occupy the center of the stage; socialism and economic af- 
fairs took their place. As illustrative of this psychological 
change, the term " nationalism " had acquired a new mean- 
ing to the popular mind. From the years 1867 to 1878, the 
word " national " had been the slogan in the theoretical, 
idealistic, "liberal" sense; it had meant a purely political, 
patriotic enthusiasm; and it had helped to cement the 
smaller states into a union under the aegis of the Prussian 
Eagle. After 1878, however, the cry " national ' was to 

1 Naumann, Die politische Parteien (Berlin, 1911)- 


connote something quite different and much more material- 
istic; henceforth, it was to concern itself more with econo- 
mic life, it was to be identified with trade and commercial 

In the second place, the shift in the relative strength of 
the political parties in 1878 illustrated the waning of liberal- 
ism and showed the way in which the wind of political con- 
viction blew. The National Liberals had attained the 
height of their power in the year 1874, with one hundred 
and fifty-two seats in the Reichstag and one million, three 
hundred and ninety-four thousand votes in the country. 
They began to decrease after that; and in the elections of 
1878, their numbers in the Reichstag fell to ninety-eight, 
whereas the representation of the Conservatives and Free 
Conservatives soared to one hundred and sixteen and that 
of the Catholic Centrists to ninety-three. 1 

Finally, Bismarck and his political opportunism com- 
pleted the reversion from liberalism to conservatism. In 
the movement for unification of the empire, Bismarck had 
appealed to the Liberals and led them full cry ahead, " until, 
on the wave of military success, the vast apparatus of liberal- 
ism fell " and unity was achieved. But Bismarck, like the 
consummate engineer that he was, "had taken care to 
secure all the ways of escape, so that at a moment's notice, 
he could stay the consequences of this forward rush and re- 
gain that conservative ground for the whole empire, which 
he had deliberately sacrificed in detail until the country 
should be united." 2 In other words, Bismarck had pre- 
tended to espouse the cause of liberalism, had in fact made 
significant concessions to the Liberals for the sake of their 
support in the national movement; and in so doing he had 

1 Grotewold, Die Parteien des Deutschen Reichstages (Leipzig, 1908), 
p. 151. 
1 Annual Register, 1879, new series, p. 173. 


bowed to their rather idealistic and theoretical interpreta- 
tion of nationalism. Politically, during the early years of the 
empire, he had relied on the Cartel, consisting of the Free 
Conservatives and National Liberals, against the opposition 
parties of Progressives. Centrists, Socialists, and Particular- 
ists. By the year 1878, however, the Liberals had served 
his purpose. With their aid the Chancellor had achieved 
his triumph of a unified and centralized nation. In short, 
he had thoroughly finished with them and their liberal ideas 
and he was ready to return to more familiar principles and 
to more congenial friends. In the year 1878, therefore, op- 
portunist that he was, he sensed not only the changing 
national temper, the waning of liberalism; but also the 
growing antagonism on the one hand, of the Conservatives, 
due to his continuance of the Kulturkampf, and, on the other, 
of the National Liberals, due to his conduct of the Kultur- 
kampf as well as to his economic policy. A crisis had arisen 
and the Chancellor recognized that the time had come for 
him to make a choice between conservatism and liberalism. 
In that choice Bismarck reverted to type, he rediscovered 
his conservative soul, he was terrified by socialist activities, 
and he determined to end the liberal era. 

In order to carry out his plan, the Chancellor was obliged 
to lean heavily upon the Conservatives and the Clericals. 
He made peace with the Clericals by a cessation of the 
Kulturkampf, and he won strong support from Conserva- 
tives and from a certain group of National Liberals by the 
adoption of a protective tariff and by indirect taxation. At 
the same time, however, the Chancellor seriously alienated 
from him the left wing of the National Liberals by his re- 
pudiation of free trade. The result was a split in the 
National Liberal party. The left wing finally broke off 
entirely on August 30, 1880, under the leadership of Bam- 
berger, Braumbach, Forkenbeck, Rickert ; it formed the 




Liberate Vereinigimg, endorsed all the traditional liberal 
ideas and joined the ranks of the Opposition. 1 This left 
the Chancellor, therefore, supported only by the Conserva- 
tives, Free Conservatives and Clericals at a time when he 
needed all the support he could master for his new economic 
policy, his anti-socialist legislation and for his social in- 
surance laws; he was terrified by the growth of socialism, 
and he was in a position to welcome heartily any addition to 
his parliamentary group. 

Such was the political upheaval which provided the col- 
onial partisans with the opportunity they needed to achieve 
political identity and significance. That they immediately 
grasped the situation in all of its bearings and hastened to 
avail themselves of its potentialities will shortly appear; 
but a brief review of their former political affiliations will 
place the proceeding in a clearer light. 

Since 1871, the colonial enthusiasts had belonged princi- 
pally to the opposition parties. The professors, scientists, [ 
and a group of merchants came from the Progressives, a , 
party utterly ignored by Bismarck until after 1874; the mis- 
sionaries were for the most part Clericals, deadly enemies of 
the Chancellor until 1878; the commercial colonialists be- 
longed partly to the Progressives and partly to the National 
Liberals, although not to the original National Liberal 
group who adhered to the simon-pure ideals of liberalism, 
but rather to a newer group of Liberals who were becoming 
more national than liberal. These new Liberals like the 
Hamburg and Bremen merchants, Woermann and Godeffroy, 
came to represent the modern type of National Liberals in 
Germany who broke with the real liberalism that had ac- 
cepted the free-trade principles of the Hanse Towns. The 
new Liberals gradually influenced the Government's pro- 
tection of overseas trade and its repudiation of the liberal 

1 Grotewold, op. cit., p. 152. 



policy of the empire. They cannot be classified as actual 
allies of Bismarck until after 1876. 

Whereas, then, the colonial partisans in the main, had sat 
in the Opposition until 1878, the opponents of colonialism, 
on the other hand, had belonged at first to the governmental 
parties, to the Conservatives who firmly supported Bis- 
marck's policy of German hegemony in Europe, or to the 
majority of National Liberals, simon-pure free traders. 

A glance at the party affiliations of both advocates and 
opponents of colonialism upon all occasions when the sub- 
ject was discussed in the Reichstag will prove the foregoing 
statement, will show a distinct cleavage of party in advo- 
cates and opponents of colonialism, and will indicate the 
shift of political support after the Government changed its 
attitude in 1876 and began to adopt explicit measures for 
overseas trade protection. In 1870, for example, when the 
petition for securing Saigon from France was discussed in 
the Reichstag, the political allegiance of those who spoke on 
the subject was as follows: 

Opponents of the Petition 
Meier (free-trader) 
Baron von Overbeck 

Advocates of the Petition 




Professor Holzendorf 

National Liberal 


National Liberal (new type) 


On April n and 20, 1877, when the Tongan Treaty was dis- 
cussed, we find, as already noted, only advocates for it. It 
must be remembered that the Tongan Treaty, as interpreted 
by the Government, implied no colonial policy but only over- 

1 Verhandlungen des Reichstages des Norddeutschen Bundes, Novem- 
ber 30, 1870. 


seas trade protection; and furthermore, that it marked a 
distinct change in the attitude of the administration itself. 1 

Advocates Party 

Radziwil Centre 

Kapp National Liberal 

(A free-trader, who later left the National Liberal 
party and joined the Liberale-V ereinigung) 

Reichensperger Centre 

Philippsborn (government official) Conservative 

Von Bunsen (like Kapp) National Liberal 

Von Bulow (Director of Foreign Office) Conservative 2 

On June 13 and 16, 1879, when the Samoan Treaty was dis- 
cussed party divisions appeared clearer. 

Advocates Party 

Von Bulow Conservative 


Lingens Centre 

Mosle National Liberal (new type) 

Opponents Party 

Bamberger National Liberal 

later, Liberale-V ereinigung 
Lowe Progressive 

Dr. Gareis " 

Haerle " 3 

The change in the Conservative position, as evident above, 
from opposition to support of colonialism may be explained 
by the fact that Bismarck thought it necessary to regain 
the wavering loyalty of the Conservatives towards 1878, 
as well as their support for the anti-socialist laws and for his 
other policies; that he consequently attached them to him 
by agrarian tariff and indirect taxation. Consequently, 

1 Cf. supra, p. 67. 

1 Stenographische Berichte iiber die V erhandlung en des Deutschen 
Reichstages, April II, 20, 1877. 
3 Verhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstages, June 13, 16, 1879. 


their hitherto antagonistic attitude towards expansion 
changed and they began to champion it vigorously, making 
it a part of their time-honored tradition to maintain the 
" honor of the Fatherland." The Conservatives explained 
their own change of opinion. " After 1876, new problems 
confronted the Conservative party; economic and social 
questions loomed large. Colonial questions produced a 
change in the party, for the principles of the Conservatives 
had always led them to concentrate upon the internal de- 
velopment of Germany. Colonialism is an entirely opposite 
policy: it is also a problem of capitalism. The Conser- 
vative party has made concessions here and altered its old- 
position. It has sacrified its long adherence to internal de- 
velopment to the Idea of National Greatness. It has al- 
lowed greater scope to capitalism in the colonies than at 
home. The Conservative party has had to broaden its 
base." 1 The Conservative party changed with Bismarck 
before the pressure of economic influence; hence it shifted 
its principles with those of the Government and it still re- 
imained a governmental party. 

\ Comprehending the outlines of this political situation, 
it is most significant to observe, that, prior to 1878, Bis- 
marck never needed the support of anyone advocating 
colonies, nor of the parties with which they were mainly 
iffiliated; but after 1878, it was very patent, as we have 
seen, that he was in dire need of aid both for the protective 
ariff and his other policies. Conditions were now exactly 
-eversed: before 1878, the governmental parties had op- 
)Osed colonialism! and the opposition parties were in favor 
pf it; after 1878, the governmental parties were in favor 
pf colonialisim and the Opposition opposed it. On the 
/.one hand, the Chancellor had gained the hitherto strongest 

1 Stillich, Die Politische Parteieen in Deutschland (Leipzig, 1908), 
vol. i, p. 234. 




opposing party, the Centre, and had strengthened the ad- 
herence of the Conservatives and the National Liberals, all 
of whom now advocated a colonial policy; on the othel 
hand, he had lost the old National Liberals, the Fre^ 
Traders, who had gone over to the Opposition (ultimately 
uniting with the Progressives in the Freisinnige Volkspartel 
in 1884), and who were violently opposed to colonialism and! 
bitterly antagonistic to Bismarck. The colonial party had 
now only to seize its opportunity and rally to Government 
support, to make itself a factor in party politics and so to 
establish its political identity. That it did this, we have 
ample proof. 

In the early eighties, Bismarck was especially disposed to 
welcome any adherents to his fiscal policy in order to combat 
the attacks of the Opposition, as well as to fill up the ranks 
of his allies depleted by the defection of the left wing of the 
National Liberals. The Hanse towns, — Bremen, Ham- 
burg and Liibeck — were opposed to protection; they pre- 
ferred, for the most part, to preserve their old tradition of 
free trade, which they found more profitable, and hence they 
constituted the strongest forces of the Opposition against 
the Chancellor. Now the firm of Godeffroy, by far thef 
most influential firm both in Hamburg and in colonial acti-i 
vities of the South Seas, as well as a leader of the colonial 
party, stood firmly for protection, largely because of its 
overseas interests and its inevitable clashes with the com 
mercial ambitions of other powers. It had indeed en 
deavored to make Hamburg enter the Zolherem. The 
same situation likewise prevailed in Bremen where the firm 
of Mosle and Company, equally influential in the colonial 
party, strongly advocated protectionism, against the major- 
ity opinion of the city. Naturally, Bismarck would be over 
joyed to receive the support afforded by these two powerful 
firms, situated in the two enemy camps ; it would prove in 


valuable in his determined effort to carry through his new 
protective tariff. Senator Gustav Godeffroy rendered very 
practical assistance to him by his articles in the Hamburger 
Nachrichten and by his speeches. One article, particularly, 
entitled Extremer Freihandel, 1 and a speech, afterwards 
published under the caption, Schuszoll und Freihandel 
itnter besonderer Beriicksichtigiing des Zollpro grammas des 
Filrsten Bismarcks, delivered before the Fourth Congress of 
the Tax and Economic Reformers League, indicated the 
strength of his adherence to the cause of protectionism. 
The concluding words of his speech were : " Let us faith- 
fully follow the flag of our great Chancellor in his econ- 
omic policy for the welfare of the empire." 2 

Again, Alexander Mosle expressed directly to Bismarck 
similar sentiments in the shape of a telegram which con- 
veyed a resolution of confidence in his protectionist policy, 
passed at a meeting of over three thousand Reichstag electors 
in Bremen, on April 29, 1879. Certainly, it did not re- 
quire a Bismarck to recognize the colonial party as a valu- 
able electoral factor. In replying to this telegram with 
a letter of thanks, the Chancellor said he looked forward to 
doing much for the protection and encouragement of trade 
and shipping. 3 

Mosle affords us a true type of the " new " National 
Liberal, who forsook Liberalism for the sake of a greater 
nationalism. He had entered the Reichstag in 1871 as a 
free trader, like every representative from that city, but 
became personally very much attached to Bismarck, as var- 
ious letters between them show. He was fascinated by the 

1 " Volkswirtschaftliche Aphorismes," Voter stddtischen Bldttern der 
Hamburger Nachrichten, Nov., 1877. 

1 Handelspolitische Brochiiren, 1876-1877, no. 36. 

1 Poschinger, Fiirst Bismarck als Volksivirt (Berlin, 1899), vol. i, p. 


Chancellor's political skill and, as he himself expressed it, 
was " changed from a free trader to a protectionist by the 
pressure of Bismarck's handshake." 1 When one con- 
siders Mosle's interest in colonial activity, one might assume 
that a pressure greater than " Bismarck's handshake " was 
possibly responsible for his indorsement of protectionism 
in which respect he represented a large and politically in- 
fluential group of the colonial enthusiasts. 

Thus the colonial party joined the Government's support- 
ing parties and it had only to add to the platform of the 
administration the plank of a colonial policy with which 
the other governmental parties, — the Conservatives, the 
National Liberals, and the Centre, — were already in 

The propaganda and political influence of the colonial 
party almost succeeded in attaining the desired publicity and 
national importance for the question of colonialism, but one 
other way still remained It was an effort to involve the 
Government, both personally and officially, in financial con- 
nections with overseas expansion, and to make a state-dir- 
ected colonialism absolutely indispensable by identifying 
commercial colonization with national interests. 

It will be recalled that Bismarck had become increasingly 
interested and influenced by the bankers and captains of in- 
dustry after the panic of 1873, a result largely of the tre- 
mendous economic and industrial progress which began to 
overshadow all other elements in German domestic affairs. 
Indeed, the Conservatives, jealous of an undue amount of 
attention and solicitude which they thought was accorded 
to capitalistic interests, coined the phrase " Blekhrdder 
era" to designate the period from 1876 to 1880. They 
claimed that, during that time, Jewish bankers, Bleichroder, 

1 Poschinger, Fiirst Bismarck und die Parlementarier (Breslau, 1894), 
vol. ii, p. 330. 


especially, had bought Bismarck and had wielded, in com- 
pany with such state officials as Delbriick and Camphausen, 
an altogether unwarranted power in the administration. 
Whatever exaggeration existed in the extreme charges of 
the Conservatives in 1876 and 1877, it was certainly true 
that Bismarck was hand in glove with the two great bank- 
ing houses of Bleichroder and von Hansemann. Gerson 
Bleichroder had made his bank one of the first in Europe 
through his connection with the Rothschilds. He had long 
enjoyed the confidence of the Chancellor and he had often 
come to the rescue of the Government. Bismarck, for in- 
stance, had summoned him to Versailles in 1871 to arrange 
the French war indemnity. The other chief financial ad- 
viser of Bismarck was Adolf von Hansemann. Since 
1864, he had been head of the powerful Diskonto Com- 
pany x of Berlin and was, moreover, a brother-in-law of 
von Kiisserow, who had been manager of the department 
for overseas trade in the Foreign Office since 1874. 2 Kiis- 
serow, it will be remembered, was a keen colonial enthusiast, 
mentioned by Zimmermann as being " personally interested 
in South Sea trade." It is also not without significance, 
perhaps, that among its officials, the Diskonto Company 
numbered Miguel, one of the vigorous Reichstag advocates 
of the merchants' petition of November 30, 1870. He was 
a Director of the Diskonto Company from 1869 to 1873. 
Woermann, of the great Woermann firm interested in 
African ventures, was another official of the company. 

Furthermore, one other link between national finance, 
the administration and colonial speculation, was Senator 
Gustav Godeffroy, 3 a strong supporter of Bismarck's pro- 
tection policy and head of the Norddeutsche Bank. 

1 Die Diskonto Gescllschaft: Denkschrift cum 50 J'dhrige Zubilatum, 
1851-1901 (Hamburg, 1901). 

- Cf. supra, p. 63. 

3 Cf. supra, p. 107. 


Now, Germany's political position in Samoa was entirely 
the result of her commercial interests which were largely in 
the control of the House of Godeffroy. By the year 1880, 
German trade in the South Seas had assumed unprecedented 
proportions, stimulated by the effects of the Tongan and 
Samo'an treaties. The necessity of maintaining Ger- 
many's political prestige had already, as we have seen, 
forced the Government to protect the merchants ; but there 
were other pressing reasons demanding administrative sup- 
port. The commercial colonialists had identified the finan- 
cial interests of the Government with the South Sea trade. 
In 1877, a company had been formed under the auspices of 
Bismarck in an effort to enlarge and consolidate the al- 
ready flourishing trade in Oceania. The House of Gode- 
ffroy was the soul of the company, but its name was la 
Compagnie Oceanique. 1 It included the firms of Memel, 
Wilkins and Schlubuch, possessed a capital of 1, 563,500 M., 
established headquarters at Hamburg, and aimed to mono- 
polize the commercial exploitation in the archipelago of 
northern Oceania, especially in the Island of Tahiti. It ap- 
pears that Bismarck was personally interested in the company 
and that other state officials participated in overseas specu- 
lations. As Bamberger asserted in his speeches in the 
Reichstag, the administration were thus naturally inclined 
to further imperial trade protection. 2 Among other ac- 
cusations, Bamberger sarcastically explained the Govern- 
ment's solicitude for South Seas trade by showing how 
governmental connivance with commercial colonialism be- 
gan under the regime of the Foreign Minister von Biilow. 
Von Billow's diplomatic duties as well as his marriage had 

1 Annales de I'ecole libre des sciences politiques, 1887, loc. cit., p. 535. 

2 Ibid. Vide, also, La Grande Encyclopedic, vol. xi, p. 11 16, art. 
" Colonisation ". 

* Verhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstagcs, April 23, 1880, p. 876. 


brought him into close connection with the commercial in- 
terests of Hamburg and he had been especially active in 
promoting the Tongan and Samoan Treaties, " those first 
steps in colonial policy." 1 Unfortunately von Biilow had 
died in the fall of 1879 and an appeal to respect for the 
dead enabled the colonial party in the Reichstag to prevent 
Bamberger from casting any further or more definite asper- 
sions upon him. 

The colonial party thus made colonialism a national and 
political question. Its three policies of literary propaganda, 
seizure of political advantage through the exigencies of 
party revolution, and identification of the financial inter- 
ests, both personal and official, of the administration with 
overseas speculations, had finally succeeded. It projected 
the whole subject from a weak and obscure position where 
it was advocated by a group with only limited recognition 
and no political power, to the fore-front of national affairs. 
The colonial party focussed general attention upon state 
directed colonialism; and in the midst of its efforts, it pre- 
cipitated a political and national crisis which submitted the 
entire movement to the test of public opinion. 

1 Allgemeine Deutsche BiograpJiie, vol. xlvii, pp. 352-354. 


The Test 

Colonialism suddenly became a concrete issue in national 
and political affairs when the Government introduced the 
Samoan Subsidy Bill into the Reichstag in the year 1880. 
Briefly, the bill proposed that the Government should grant 
an annual subsidy to Godeffroy & Son to enable them to 
promote their trade in the South Seas. Hence, the accept- 
ance or rejection of the bill meant the acceptance or rejection 
of commercial colonialism. In other words, the Samoan Sub- 
sidy Bill became a test-case of the whole colonial movement. 

The immediate antecedents to the introduction of the Sub- 
sidy Bill into the Reichstag can be briefly stated. In the year 

1878, the house of Godeffroy, not satisfied with its com- 
mercial success, attempted higher financial and speculative 
flights. It formed a " merger " and consolidated all its 
South Sea business into a stock company, the Deutsche 
Hand els and Plan-tag engesellschajt der Siid See Inseln. v 
In spite of the extensive advertisement of stock in the Ger- 
man papers, the majority of the shares of the new company 
remained in the hands of Godeffroy & Son. During the year 

1879, the House encountered serious financial difficulties 
owing to the failure of mining speculations in Europe. 2 It 
was unable to secure aid in Hamburg because it already 
controlled considerable capital from that city; and it soon 

1 Anlagen des Deutschen Reichstages, 1880, Aktenstuck no. 101, p. 

2 Coppius,. Hamburgs Bedeutung auf dem Gebiete der Deutschen 
KolonialpoKtik (Berlin, 1905), p. 67. 

113] "3 


exhausted all efforts to obtain loans from other commercial 
houses. Finally, the House of Godeffroy & Son submitted 
to extreme financial pressure and borrowed money from 
Baring Brothers of London, giving as security its shares in 
the Deutsche Handels und Plantagengesellschaft der Siid 
See Inseln, together with its holdings in Samoa amounting 
to one hundred and sixty thousand Prussian acres. The 
loan only postponed disaster; the House of Godeffroy failed 
late in 1879; and its failure spelled ruin for the vast German 
interests in the South Seas which were now in danger of 
falling into foreign hands. 

The resulting situation involved political and economic, 
national and international, consequences. The commercial 
interests in the South Seas besieged the Government with 
letters. These merchants represented the threatened ruin to 
German trade, political position and prestige in Samoa if the 
house of Godeffroy were not resuscitated at once and if all 
its influence and holdings were not prevented from parsing 
under the control of England. Part of the German press 
urged the Government to intervene in order to prevent 
British appropriation of the Samoan lands. It proposed, 
specifically, that the Government or a syndicate of bankers 
should buy up the Deutsche Handels und Plantagengesell- 
schaft. The Kolnische Zeitung recalled Disraeli's purchase 
of the shares of the Suez Canal Company. 

Furthermore, one must needs recall the contemporary 
situation in Samoa at the end of the year 1879, in order to 
realize all the various currents at work in this political and 
ecoriomiic crisis. For it will be remembered that Germany, 
in company with England and the United States, had as- 
sumed a municipal protectorate over Apia by negotiations 
during the month of December; 1 and such a protectorate 

1 Anlagen des Deutschen Rcichstages, 1880, Aktcnstiick no. 101, Unter- 
lage no. 2, p. 728. 

U 5 ] I THE TEST II 5 

necessitated the maintenance of a strong political prestige 
which the failure of Godeffroy & Son, if unredeemed, would 
seriously jeopardize. 

It was of course to be expected that the German bankers, 
already much interested in South Sea enterprises, would 
intervene and come to the rescue; but that they would do so 
on purely patriotic and national grounds was unlikely. 
Here, however, was an ideal occasion for the cooperation 
of colonialists, financial interests, and the Government ; and 
such was the connection existing already between them, that 
their combination at this juncture was well nigh inevitable. 
Godeffroy waited upon von, Hansemann, who in turn in- 
fluenced Bismarck. The Chancellor, although earlier in the 
year ( 1879) he had refused to help the house of Godeffroy, 1 
now agreed to rescue its interests from the grasp of Baring ( 
Brothers of London and to promote a government subsidy 
for a stock company to indemnify and replace Godeffroy. 2 
Accordingly, a new company was formed in Berlin, called 
Die Deutsche See Handelsgesellschaft, '' auf Anregung ' : 
of the administration and on the condition that the Govern- 
ment underwrite it. 3 It was von Hansemann, himself, who 
instructed the Secretary of the Imiperial Treasury, Geheim- 
rat Burchard, that this plan " will not only rescue German 
trade but expand German colonial interests in the South 
Seas." 4 

It was not at all unnatural that Bismarck should thus 
come to the rescue of Godeffroy, and his act affords but an- 
other proof of his real, though unacknowledged, sympathy 
w T ith the aims of the colonialists. The senior partner of the 
house of Godeffroy and the Chancellor had been great 

1 Poschinger, Filrst Bismarck als Volkswirt, vol. i, p. 269. 
1 Annual Register, 1879, p. 170. 

* Poschinger, Furst Bismarck als Volkswirt, vol. i, p. 166. 

* Die Diskonto Gesellschaft, op. cit., p. 225. 


friends in their youth, and, before 1870, Bismarck had sup- 
ported his scheme of peopling with Germ/an immigrants the 
land owned by the Godeffroy firm in Samoa. This support 
had taken the form of investing German consuls at Samoa 
with extraordinary powers, of granting arms from the 
royal arsenals, and of sending the S. S. Hertha to Samoa. 
A program of future colonization drawn up and laid before 
the Berlin Government had elicited the promise of further 
aid to Godeffroy ; 1 but the intervention of the Franco- 
Prussian war in 1870 and the consequent change in Bis- 
marck's policies occasioned by the founding of the empire, 
had prevented its realization. Now, ten years later, came 
an opportunity to fulfill the promise. 

Toward the end of December, 1879, therefore, the official 
[press announced that in order to prevent the ruin of trade 
in the South Pacific by foreign creditors of Godeffroy & Son, 
the Government had decided to demand a subsidy from the 
leichstag for a new company. 2 On January 1, 1880, Bis- 
larck in a letter to Scholz. Under Secretary of the Treas- 
ury, unfolded the completed plan : 

You are aware of the solicitude with which the empire has always 
regarded German activities in Oceania. A celebrated Hamburg 
firm, for reasons not connected with its South Sea trade, has en- 
countered financial difficulties which threaten the loss of all its 
possessions and establishments. ... In the interests of overseas 
Itrade, therefore, I think the Imperial Government should ask the 
|cooperation of the legislative bodies in order to supply the means 
^necessary to avert this danger. I am all the more persuaded 
thereto, since lately captains of finance have declared themselves 
ready and willing in the national interests to undertake the estab- 
lishment of such a company, if the Government will support 
them. 3 

'Lowe, Prince Bismarck (London, 1885), vol. ii, p. 210. 

2 Annalcs de I'ecole libre des sciences politiques, loc. cit., p. 535. 

8 Anlagen des Deutschen Reichstages, 1880, Aktenstiick no. 101, An- 
lage no. 5. 


The proposed plan was that the Government should guar- 
antee to the company an annual subsidy of four percent of its 
total capitalization for twenty years, or not more than 
300,000 M., which was to be entirely repaid as soon as its 
dividends should exceed a specified percent. 1 The new com- 
pany was to purchase all the assets and possessions of the 
Deutsche Handels und Plantagengesellschaft, in accordance 
with the latter s own offer of December 26, 1879, 2 which 
.would seem to indicate a thorough and pre-arranged under- 
standing with Godeffroy & Son. The Chancellor was to* ap- 
point a commissioner, representing the Government, on the 
board of directors. Everything appeared to have been com- 
pletely planned and the Deutsche See Handelsgescllschaft 
was duly constituted on January 21, 1880, consisting O'f 
fourteen share holders and having von Hansemann and 
Bleichroder as directors-in-chief. 3 

On April 15, 1880, the Samoan Subsidy Bill passed the 
Bundesrat against the votes of Hamburg and Bremen, and 
on April 22, it came up for its first reading in the Reichstag.* 
Throughout the entire course of the debates, the supporters 
of the scheme masked the whole question of colonial ex- 
pansion, which the proposed subsidy raised, behind an in- 
flamed appeal to national patriotism to protect German trade 
and political prestige in the South Seas. Never once did 
they meet squarely the issue of colonial policy as such, al- 
though their opponents flung down the gauntlet many times. 
And in reading the debates, it is most evident, as indeed it 

1 Anlagen des Dentschen Reichstages, 1880, Aktenstuck no. 101, p. 
720 ; Hahn- Wippermanti', op. cit., vol. v, p. 6. 

1 Ibid., Aktenstuck no. 101, no. 4. 

3 Ibid., Aktenstuck no. 101, Unterlage no. 6; Poschinger, Bismarck 
als Volkszvirt, vol. i, p. 166; Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, pp. 5-6. 

4 Europdische Geschichtskalender, April 15, 1880. 


was to the Opposition, that all the cards were not on the 
table; that something lay beneath this bill which, if indorsed, 
would commit the nation to a thoroughgoing policy of over- 
seas expansion. 

An analysis of Bismarck's announcements concerning the 
newly formed company, of the speech from the throne at 
the opening of the Reichstag session, of the explanatory 
documents with which the bill was accompanied, and of the 
speeches of the administrative officials in the debates, reveals 
the Government's* argument and appeal to the nation for an 
indorsement of the Subsidy Bill. The Government seemed 
to rest its case simply upon the plea that the Samoan Subsidy 
was in line with the overseas trade protection policy as in- 
augurated by the Tongan Treaty in 1877, and was in fact 
but a continuation thereof. For instance, the preamble to 
the bill declared : " Ever since the news about the failure of 
the house of Godeffroy, consular reports and other com- 
munications have represented to the Government that the 
loss of territory in Samoa, now in German hands, will result 
in a loss of German prestige and commercial position in 
Oceania hardly to be recovered. The Imperial Cabinet, 
convinced of the national significance of the matter 
could not permit itself to neglect an attempt to avert this 
disaster." 1 

The same note was struck by the speech from the throne 
[of February 10, 1880: " The empire is deeply concerned to 
'provide protection and encouragement for trade and ship- 
ping. For this purpose, it presents for ratification a treaty 
of trade and amity with the Hawaiian Islands and the 
Samoan BUI." 2 

Again, the Norddeuische Allgeme'me Zeitung, officially 

1 . Inlagen des Deutschen Reichstages. 1880, Aktenstuck no. 101, p. 721. 
1 Ibid., vol. i, p. 2. 

119] - THE TEST lig 

advocating the subsidy, in a special article on April 17, 1880, 
contradicted flatly that the bill meant a colonial policy, or 
even the support of the House of Godeffroy. 1 

In the debates, every speaker who officially represented 
the Government, was most particular to emphasize the posi- 
tion which the administration had adopted. In fact, Under- 
Secretary Scholz. introducing the proposition on April 22, 
1880, began by denying what he termed " the misrepresenta- 
tion of the subject as colonialism by the press of the Opposi- 
tion." ..." The Government is merely following a course 
similar to that followed in subsidizing the Saint Gotthard 
Tunnel." 2 

Von Kiisserow's masterly summary of the whole admin- 
istrative policy concerning overseas trade protection closed 
by stating that the Samoan Subsidy was merely a continua- 
tion thereof. " It is not a question of party, of free trade 
or protection, but one of the honor and glory of Germany." 3 
He exaggerated the menace of England and expatiated at 
length upon the threatened calamity which Germany's failure 
to act would bring about in Samoa. These two national 
dangers provided a convenient flagstaff, upon which to un- 
furl and wave against the winds of the Opposition, the red, 
white and black flag of the German Empire. 

" Nations only respect a nation that can exert might and 
power," said Hohenlohe u Schillingfurst, the provisional 
State Secretary in the Foreign Office. 4 This point of view 
was epitomized by Staudy, who spoke for the Conservative 
party, which, while opposed to the subsidy as helping in- 

1 Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, April 17, 1880, no. 179, quoted 
by Poschinger, Bismarck als Volkswirt, vol. i, p. 275. 

1 Verhandlungen des Deutschcn Reichstages, April 22, 1880, p. 857. 

3 Ibid., April 23, 1880, pp. 888 et seq. 

*Ibid., April 27, 1880, pp. 945 et seq. 


dust rial capital, emphasized the importance of upholding the 
honor of the Fatherland. " How would she appear in the 
eyes of the world, if she did not take a definite position? . . . 
It is superfluous to speak of a colonial policy, as the pro- 
position before us does not mention it." * 

Significantly enough, Bismarck did not appear personally 
in the Reichstag during the Samoan debate. At the time 
he was living within the shadow of one of his periodical 
" requests for leave to resign." 

On the other hand the colonial enthusiasts, just as previ- 
ously in the debates on the Samoan treaty, did not hesitate to 
call the proposed subsidy another step in the direction of 
colonial policy and to welcome it heartily as such. 

Prince Hohenlohe-Langenberg came out openly in favor 
of expansion. " I have noted with joy the movement of the 
last year towards it. Colonial policy is a great necessity; 
immigration makes it so. . . . Today, for the first time, we 
officially confront the question of its adoption. . . . Great 
political interests are at stake." 2 

Mosle, in his turn, rejoiced that "the Prince Hohenlohe- 
Langenberg has so spoken. I am convinced that the Gov- 
ernment will soon adopt a colonial policy. It will become 
a necessity. It is a pity that influences have hitherto re- 
strained the Chancellor. . . . The treaty with Samoa will 
only last so long as we can dominate the island. . . . This 
has been the history of all colonial powers. England is 
our model." 3 

The claims of these enthusiasts, however, did not alarm 
the opponents of colonialism so much as the facts, which 
they later pointed out. that the Samoan Subsidy as advo- 

1 Verhandlungen des Deutschen Rcichstages, April 23, 1880, pp. 89c 
et seq. 

2 Ibid., April 22, 1880, pp. 858 et seq. 

3 Ibid., April 23, 1880, pp. 879 et seq. 

I2l] T HE TEST 121 

cated by the Government, was but the beginning of a colonial 
policy, that it would lead to more expansion, and that it 
represented the real attitude of the Government, which its 
advocates merely " try to cover up with their cry of na- 
tional glory." 

Tearing off this disguise and at once proclaiming the issue 
to be one of state colonialism, the Opposition centered its 
attack in two main arguments; first, that the Samoan 
Subsidy, as a step in the direction of colonialism, would not 
be for the ultimate national interests; and, second, that it 
merely represented governmental support of a private firm, 
which would prove very bad business for Germany, another 
South Sea Bubble. 

In dispelling "the national glory" illusion, Bamberger, ' , 
the leader of the Opposition, claimed that the affair was 
represented in one way by the governmental press and in 
quite a different manner by that of Hamburg and Bremen. 
" They (the Government) say it is national interest. It is 
really speculation. . . . Bismarck has issued a circular which 
accompanies the stock subscription list of the Deutsche See 
Han-dels Gesellschaft, claiming it to be a national, patriotic 
duty to subscribe. 1 ... In intellectual circles, in clubs, in 
newspapers, and in pamphlets, an active propaganda has been 
carried on in order to make the German people believe that 
the commercial interests of the whole German nation are 
involved in the affairs of this single firm. This is really 
nothing but the beginning of a colonial policy and I am 
opposed to it." 2 

The misrepresentation was occasioned, Bamberger 
thought, because of " the ecstasy of colonialism which is in 

1 Verhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstages, April 22, 1880, pp. 862 
et seq. 

2 Ibid., April 27, 1880, pp. 945 et seq. 


the air, and also because of the waving of the national flag 
and the blaring of trumpets." And, instead of the entire 
world waiting, as the colonialists would have everyone be- 
lieve, to watch what Germany does in Samoa, no one is at 
all concerned about it. " In England und France, kein 
Hund und keine Katze fragt danach." 

Arguing along the same line, Lowe, a Progressive, showed 
that the Government was involved in an economic colonial 
(enterprise, which " the Conservatives attempt to disguise by 
the cry of national glory. . . . They will only demand more 
subsidies in order to hoist the German flag higher. . . . The 
purpose clearly is to inaugurate a colonial policy. . . . And 
I consider it wrong to conceal the real issue in this matter, by 
continually asserting that the subsidy is to insure national 
interests when, in reality, it is merely to promote trade." x 

Having fearlessly called the Samoan proposition state- 
directed colonialism, the Opposition proceeded to demon- 
strate how it was contrary to the real commercial and finan- 
cial interests of Germany. Thus, Meier, who, as he 
claimed, expressed the opinion of the whole Hamburg Ex- 
change, and who was well acquainted with the House of 
Godeffroy and in possession of many facts concerning the 
situation, vigorously opposed the project. He said that Ger- 
man merchants did not need to be subsidized. " I am op- 
posed to state help and am convinced that if we wish our 
nation strong, we must reject it; we must allow people to 
depend on themselves. ... If we reject this proposed sub- 
sidy, we will be doing a service to the nation as well as to 
the stockholders." 2 

Bamberger elaborated Meier's argument with many de- 
tailed figures, designed to show the relative insignificance 

1 Verhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstages, April 27, 1880, pp. 945 
et seq. 
3 Ibid., April 23, 1880, pp. 881 et seq. 

123] - THE TEST 123 

of the Samoan trade. He asked why the German people 
should take 300,000 M. out of its pocket every year and 
make " poor Michael " pay to assist a bankrupt business, es- 
pecially when there exist many successful firms in the South 
Seas. " It is unjust to injure other interests m Samoa which 
have been and are doing well." * 

The House of Godeffroy, in business since 1860, has had many 
financial embarrassments . . . and has finally gone on the rocks. 
. . . This is not a sound business ; should we support it ? . . . The 
House of Godeffroy differs from all other firms in its large landed 
possessions overseas ; this means colonialism, which has been sown 
with blood for the past three hundred years. 2 . . . There is little 
import trade, since the natives are too primitive. The Leipzig 
Chamber of Commerce has telegraphed a resolution in favor of 
the Subsidy Bill. Why? Leipzig can export only woven under- 
wear and for this the natives have no use. It is only an illusion, 
this idea that trade will be improved by subsidies. The import 
trade in Samoa is mainly English — seventy-eight percent of it — 
while only twenty-two percent is German. The Samoan trade 
really amounts to little. 3 

Bamberger as well as Lowe considered the whole project 
a repetition of the South Sea Bubble. " The Government 
is misled, does not understand business and sees visions. 
. . . Enthusiasts for colonies always go into ecstasies over 
visions of commercial advantage, and others, wham) I call 
' Oceaniden,' whenever the sea is mentioned cry out, 
' Thalatta,' like the ten thousand Greeks." 4 

Resorting to personal attacks. Bamberger accused God- 
effroy & Son of unscrupulous monopolistic methods. " Con- 

1 Vcrhandhtngen des Deutschen Reichstages, April 23, 1880, pp. 893 
et seq. 

2 Ibid., April 22, 1880, pp. 862 et seq. 

3 Ibid., April 22, 1880, pp. 893 et seq. 
* Ibid., April 27, 1880, pp. 954 et seq. 


sul Weber, Agent of the House of Godeffroy, has misused 
his powers. ... In 1876, the firm of Ruge, Heedermami & 
Company, wrote to Bismarck complaining that the German 
Consul Weber, who is also agent of Godeffroy & Son, was 
threatening the inhabitants of Samoa that if they did not 
sell exclusively to Godeffroy, they would have to pay a fine 
of 250 M., every month." 1 And we already know how 
Bamberger exposed the connection between the financial 
interests of Godeffroy & Son, the great German bankers, 
?nd the Government. 2 He also said, " I believe with Meier 
that the ' financial experts ' like Bleichroder and Hardt have 
started and managed the whole affair and have issued the 
new company's stock, ' under a strong moral pressure.' 
These are the gentlemen who composed the company and 
everyone knows what good business they have already done 
in Prussia and the empire." 3 

/The fate of the proposed subsidy proved without doubt 
that the opposition in the Reichstag reflected correctly the 
prevailing public opinion; for the bill failed to pass the 
Reichstag by one hundred and twenty-eight to one hundred 
and twelve votes, in spite of the efforts of the colonial party 
and Bismarck. 4 The concentrated and bitter opposition of 
tthe left wing of the National Liberals, numbering twenty- 
pne, of the Progressives, the Centrists, the Poles, the Parti- 
cularists and the Socialists had triumphed over the strong 
ihnion of the Conservatives and the right wing of the Na- 
tional Liberals, the latter numbering thirty-six. The Centre 
was here among the opponents and was conspicuously absent 

1 Verhandlungen dcs Deutschen Reichstages, April 22, 1880, pp. 863 
et seq. 

2 Cf. supra, p. in. 

3 Verhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstages, April 27, 1880, pp. 894 
et seq. 

* Ibid., p. 960, list of votes. 

125] THE TEST I25 

in the debates, because, while strongly in favor of over- 
seas expansion, the Catholic party always blocked a colonial- 
ism which provided solely for the commercial and political, 
to the total exclusion of any cultural or religious objects. 
The emphatic " No "of this party, together with the absence 
of many Conservative representatives, proved decisive. One 
hundred and forty members abstained from voting, indicat- 
ing that a considerable group still reserved judgment or were 
unwilling to commit themselves upon the vital issue of a 
national colonial policy. 

The press further reflected the temper of the country as 
it was revealed by the discussion of the Samoan affair; it 
confirmed the attitude and reiterated the arguments adopted 
by both sides which the debates had already indicated. The 
government organs, notably the Norddeutsche Allgemeine 
Zeitung, partly owned by members of the House of God- 
effroy, fought for the subsidy with great fervor. 1 At first, 
it took every occasion to deny that the Samoan proposition 
meant a colonial policy or a means of support for the House 
of Godeffroy. It criticised bitterly the method employed 
by the Opposition, particularly its personal attacks, and tried 
to dispel all suspicion and yet, when an adverse outcome 
seemed likely, it adopted an attitude of naive indifference, 
attaching apparently no great significance to either failure or 
success, 2 " We hear that only a very acute neuralgic at- 
tack with which Bismarck has been afflicted for the past three 
weeks, prevented him from personally taking part in the 
debates." 3 

When the subsidy was irreparably defeated, however, the 
paper in its disappointment and anger, discarded all diplo- 

1 Coppius, op. cit., p. 73. 

1 Norddeut. Allge. Zt., 1880, April 17, 18, 21, 22, nos. 179, 181, 185, 
186, quoted by Poschinger, Bismarck als Volkswirt, vol. i, p. 275. 
s Ibid., April 25, 1880, no. 191. 


macy and revealed its true position : " It is probable that had 
the country been consulted, the verdict would have been very 
different. The Samoan Subsidy was a prelude to a German 
colonial policy and the first practical expression of it. 
Neither the enemies of our greatness, nor the doctrinaires 
of the Manchester School, will succeed in preventing Ger- 
many from embarking upon that course which other nations 
have followed with advantage." 1 

Indeed the German Government seemed more dissatisfied 
than discouraged, since another offioial paper, Die Post, ad- 
vised the administration to take possession of the Samoan 
Islands and merely to announce the fact to the Reichstag. 
" If a people suitable for the work of colonization exists, it 
is the German people. A large part of the world's commerce 
is in their hands. German colonies are necessary." - 

The Kolnischc Zcitung, a semi-official organ, present- 
ing the opinions of inland Germany, where paradoxically 
there has always existed a romantic sentiment and enthus- 
iasm for overseas exploits and for the navy, said, in com- 
menting upon the result : " It is an indisputable fact that the 
need of colonies for economic reasons has already attained a 
strong hold on the official mind. . . . The victory of the 
Opposition will bring disappointment to many circles and is 
contrary to the wishes of a large majority of our people. 
. . . The national interest was foremost here. . . . The 
parliament of no other great state would sacrifice political 
prestige for so small a financial consideration or on account 
of the risk of the venture." 3 

Naturally, the organs of the colonial party united with the 

1 Norddeut. Allg. Zt., April 28, 1880, quoted by Annates d e I'icole 
libre des sciences politiques, loc. cit., 1887, p. 537, and Giordani, The 
German Colonial Empire (London, 1916), p. 15. 

2 Die Post, April 23, 1880, quoted by Giordani, op. cit., p. 15. 
s Die Kblnische Zeitung, April 30, 1880. 

j 2 j] THE TEST 127 

governmental press in deploring the failure of the subsidy. 
" Our political position in Samoa depends upon our economic 
status. Whoever has lived in the colonies will know with 
what hearty laughter our withdrawal from Samoa will be 

" 1 


The press of Hamburg and Bremen was most significant ; 
it might have been expected energetically to have vociferated 
the strong support of the subsidy on the part of these com- 
mercial cities, since the Government claimed that the bill 
was to foster shipping and trade ; but it failed to fulfill such 

The Hamburg press showed that city as maintaining a 
somewhat reserved attitude, in spite of the attacks upon its 
local patriotism by Der Export. Hamburg, generally, had 
always been in favor of colonial expansion, but unlike the 
theorists of the inland, did not talk so much about it, because 
it was better informed regarding the dangers and difficulties, 
and was not so hot-headed, nor so ready to inaugurate state- 
directed colonialism at a stroke. Furthermore, the free- 
trade party still prevailed there in large measure and the 
Hamburger Borsenhalle took the point of view that other 
German firms were active in the South Seas and Godeffroy 
& Son ought to help itself. 2 

The Bremen press opposed the Subsidy Bill more com- 
pletely and exhibited greater jealousy. The Bremer Han- 
delsblatt anticipated " grave political results " of such a de- 
parture and entirely discredited the " national argument." 2 

Perhaps the whole Samoan affair was most correctly in- 
terpreted by the Augsburg er Allgemeine Zeitung, when it 
asserted, despite the claims of the N orddeutsche Allgemeine 
Zeitung, that the proposed subsidy was only in the inter- 
ests of German trade and the protection of its South Sea 

1 Der Export, April 27, 1880. 
' Coppius, op. cit., pp. 68-69. 


property. "All the commercial interests, with the exception 
of the Leipsic Chamber of Commerce, denied that they would 
be helped by it. . . . The Samoan Subsidy was refused by 
the Reichstag because something lay underneath it, and it 
was made to cover up political motives. . . . Above every- 
thing else, the Samoan Subsidy appeared to anyone who 
voted for it as a new departure. Many a representative 
would willingly have supported one such innovation, but the 
question arose whether this would not inaugurate a new 
policy" x 

The results of the Samoan project and its failure were 
far-reaching in their effects upon the colonial movement. 
While temporarily appearing to check it they were ulti- 
mately most favorable to its progress. In the first place, 
we note the effect upon the Government's attitude towards 
colonialism. The Subsidy Bill had forced the administra- 
tion to abandon the reserve hitherto displayed towards the 
whole matter and to take a definite stand. Modern German 
colonialism, that is state-directed colonialism, would doubt- 
less have begun in 1880, had it not received this set-back. 
There was, as we have seen, every indication that the 
inauguration of a state-directed colonialism through the 
Samoan Subsidy had been the intention of the administra- 
tion. " Bismarck, thereby, had hoped to launch his Licb- 
lingsplau, namely, a colonial policy." 2 The rejection of the 
project by the Reichstag, however, influenced Bismarck to 
drop temporarily all support of the colonial movement and 
all official cooperation with it; he fell back upon his maxim 
that, " It is impossible to enter upon a colonial policy with- 
out a national impulse." He saw that the majority of the 
country was against him and he was too clever a statesman 
to make the mistake of openly pressing an already defeated 

1 Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung, April 30, 1880. 
* Coppius, op. cit., p. 67. 


issue in the face of a powerful Opposition. The Chan- 
cellor was also politician enough to realize that a policy 
which he had strongly advocated had been repudiated by a 
too independent Reichstag. And he appreciated only too 
well the importance of not letting such a Reichstag get out 
of hand, especially at this crisis in political affairs. He felt 
that, " by this decision, his authority was compromised, his 
duty and policy injured by party strife," and that caution 
was necessary. 1 Hence, after May, 1880, we find the Chan- 
cellor playing a double game, for how otherwise explain his 
very contradictory conduct? He seemed at one time, in- 
directly and secretly, to support the colonial movement ; and 
at another time, to repudiate it officially and openly, by re- 
fusing to accede to any demands for assistance and pro- 

As evidence, on the one hand, of the Chancellor's support 
of colonialism, is a letter written on May 7, 1880, to the 
Board of Directors of the Deutsche See Handels Gesell- 
schaft. This Board had come to the rescue of the company 
upon the failure of the subsidy, and had personally assumed 
the debts of Godeffroy & Son, thereby preventing their 
property in Samoa from falling into English hands. In the 
letter, Bismarck expressed the greatest approval and appre- 
ciation of their action. " The conviction that you have ren- 
dered a worthy service to the Fatherland by supporting exist- 
ing enterprises in the South Seas will not only be gratefully 
appreciated by His Majesty and the governments of the 
states united with his, but also by wide circles of the German 
population." 2 

1 Account of Bismarck's conversation with prominent diplomat, in 
Nord. Dent. Allg. Zt., May 1, 1880, quoted by Poschinger in Bismarck 
als Volkswirt, vol. i, p. 276. 

3 Poschinger, Aktenstiicke cur W irtschaftspolitik des Fiirsten Bis- 
marcks (Berlin, 1890), vol. i, p. 332. 


Again on July 6, 1880, he expressed the following senti- 
ments in the government press: 

The Compagnie Oceanique has established at great expense a fac- 
tory in the island of Raiatea, whose independence is considered 
incontrovertible by international law. ... It can be readily un- 
derstood that the desire of the authorities in Tahiti to extend the 
French protectorate there, causes disquiet among the German in- 
habitants. This is a serious matter and something should be done. 
. . . We doubt whether the German Imperial Government will 
intervene for the protection of German commerce in Raiatea, in 
case France interferes, ... or that it will take any commercial 
initiative in Polynesia, if negotiations with England or America 
become necessary. For the German National Assembly by reject- 
ing the Samoan Subsidy has solemnly discredited in the eyes of 
Germany and the Powers the Government's solicitude for German 
interests in the South Seas. The Government should determine 
to assist overseas trade in opposition to the sentiment of the 
Reichstag. 1 

On the other hand, there exists abundant evidence that the 
Chancellor officially repudiated any movement towards 
colonialism. In the year 1880, he ignored Mosle's petition 
for a state subsidy for a company established to buy up and 
develop land in North Borneo, owned by von Overbeck ; 2 
likewise on November 11, he rejected Hansemann's request 
for a state guarantee of a steamship line between Mioko, the 
German admiralty port in the Duke of York Islands, and 
other South Sea Islands, as well as a plan for the coloniza- 
tion of New Guinea.' 1 Again, hi the year 1881, we find the 

l Nord. Deut. Allg., July 6, 1880, quoted by Annates de I'ecole libre 
des sciences politiqucs, loc. cit., p. 538. Also, cf. supra, p. III. The 
Compagnie Occaniquc was a company founded to extend Germany's 
commercial settlements in the South Seas with which Bismarck was 
closely connected. 

2 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 21. 

8 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 72. 

131] * , THE TEST 131 

Chancellor saying to a member of the Reichstag, in relation 
to the failure of the Samoan Subsidy, "As long as I am 
Chancellor, we will carry on no colonial policy. We have a 
navy incapable of going far and we cannot afford to own 
waste places in other parts of the earth which will only 
revert to the French." 1 

At the same time (1880) Bismarck created the Economic 
Council of Prussia, 2 to support his political and commercial 
policy; and the Council forthwith passed a resolution that 
the empire appropriate 100,000,000 M. to purchase territory 
outside of Europe for the purpose of establishing colonies. 

The only interpretation of this paradoxical policy would 
seem to be that Bismarck, fearful of political opposition, 
was " feeling his way," was advancing as best he could to- 
wards a colonial policy, and at the same time was avoiding 
any possible opportunity for another vote in the Reichstag 
indicating " no confidence." 

The failure of the Samoan Subsidy Bill thus seriously 
affected the Government's relation to the colonial question. 
It drove the Chancellor into an equivocal position after first 
forcing him to show his hand in favor of colonies. It pre- 
vented the movement from achieving its goal of state- 
directed colonialism in the year 1880, and compelled it to 
develop through one or more phases, during which the ad- 
ministration remained in the position of a silent and secret 
partner of the colonial party. 

In the second place, we have to consider the result of 
the failure of the Samoan Subsidy Bill upon the colonial 
party itself. Stung by defeat into greater effort, it re- 
doubled its exertions both in individual attempts at economic 
colonialism and in propaganda to convert public opinion. A 

1 Poschinger, Fiirst Bismarck und Die Parlementarier, vol. iii, p. 54. 

2 Ibid., Bismarck als Volkszvirt, vol. ii, p. 11. 


multitude of independent overseas enterprises as well as a 
tremendous outburst of literature were the result of the 
party's defeat in the ReicJistag. Immeasurably strength- 
ened by the open and avowed support of the Government, 
disclosed by the whole Samoan affair, it felt all the more 
keenly the public withdrawal of administrative cooperation, 
and was therefore absolutely determined to regain govern- 
mental support. Moreover, the manner in which the oppo- 
nents of the Samoan Subsidy Bill, especially Bamberger, had 
handled their case and had attacked imperial officials, re- 
sulted in winning many supporters who had been otherwise 
indifferent to the cause. Even the enemies of a colonial 
policy resented the bitter insinuations uttered against state 
officials by the Opposition and sympathized with the colonial- 
ists on that account. 

Indirectly also, the failure of the Samoan Subsidy Bill 
strengthened the position of the colonial party : the loss of 
German prestige, incident upon the defeat of the proposed 
Samoan policy, encouraged the rival efforts of England and 
France; it made the " foreign menace over seas " loom larger 
upon the horizon ; and it supplied the colonial enthusiasts and 
patriots with abundant material for specific appeals for pro- 
tection. For instance, the English firm of McArthur in 
New Zealand, which had possessed trade and plantation set- 
tlements in Samoa since 1870, secured the buildings and 
leases of the German firm, Ruge, Heedemann, on the Tonga 
Islands, after the subsidy's failure; it sent ships and pro- 
jected a steamship line between Tonga and New Zealand, 
thus causing the Germans to fear English annexation. 1 
Also England annexed to the Fiji Islands the Island of 
Rotuman, where Germany had hitherto controlled trade. 
England then forbade German ships to proceed thither di- 

1 Poschinger. Aktenstiicke, vol. i, p. 332. 

i33] THE TEST 133 

rectl'y, obliging them to stop first at an English customs 
port in Fiji. 1 

France's desire to extend her Protectorate from Tahiti to 
the island of Raiatea, has already been mentioned; and this 
she finally accomplished when she raised her flag in Raiatea 
on May 25, 1881. 2 

The most important result, however, which the Samoaii 
Subsidy accomplished for the colonial party and the entire 
movement was that, in common with most test cases, it clari- 
fied the issue and defined more precisely the friendly and 
hostile elements. It forced groups and individuals into 
taking sides. By means of the publicity and discussion 
which the affair occasioned, the colonial party could now 
distinguish between its supporters and its opponents. For 
instance, the colonialists realized after April, 1880, that 
colonialism has become a political issue, that it was party 
politics for their enemies to fight colonialism in any shape 
whatsoever in the Reichstag; that indeed these enemies 
fought it more because of mere political tactics and a desire 
for revenge against Bismarck, and his protective tariff, than 
because of any actual disagreement with the colonial move- 
ment. In fact the non-governmental parties, the left wing 
of the National Liberalists, the Progressives, the Poles, and 
the Socialists, indirectly influenced affairs abroad to the 
detriment of German colonial plans. In England, especially, 
they contributed indirectly to stirring up a movement to 
block Germany, which in 1880 eventuated in the formation 
of a company that bought and developed the land shares 
owned by von Overbeck in North Borneo and checkmated 
Mosle's plan. 3 Indeed the English papers made no secret of 

1 Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 30. 

2 Cf. supra, p. 130. 

3 Herrfurth, Bismarck iind die Kolonialpolitik, p. 20. 


saying that the company was organized in order to fore- 
stall Germany. 

Nowhere was the cleavage which the Samoan affair 
wrought in public opinion, more apparent than at the first 
annual Congress of the Centralverein fur Handels Geogra- 
phic and the Nineteenth Annual Congress of the Deutsche 
Volksivirte. The two organizations chanced to meet simul- 
taneously in Berlin during October, 1880, and officially dis- 
cussed the colonial isssue; in fact their debates echoed those 
of the Reichstag over the Samoan affair. 1 While the Con- 
gress of the Centralverein was wholly in favor of state- 
directed colonialism and state-directed emigration (although 
all the speakers did not go so far as the colonialist leaders, 
such as Dr. Jannarsch, Weber and Fabri, in advocating 
governmental acquisition of territory) the Congress of 
Deutsche Volksivirte, led by Dr. Kapp, supported by Loehnis 
and Philippsohn, passed a resolution of opposite tenor. 
" While the Government feels obliged, under the present law, 
to allow emigration to proceed unchecked, yet protects it 
from exploitation and interference, the Congress of Deutsche 
Volkszvirte declines to indorse any attempt to establish 
colonies at the cost of the state in order merely to benefit 
certain rich groups.'" 

The two congresses thus expressed a divisio 1 of public 
sentiment which typified the situation throughout the nation. 
It was the old. internationally-minded generation pitted 
futilely, as time was to prove, against the representatives 
of the new age, fresh in their industrial, economic and na- 
tional strength. Which had the greater chance? 

The Samoan Subsidy Bill, the test-case, had failed imme- 

1 Vcrhandlungen des E'stens Kongresses des Centralvereins. Ver- 
handlungen des N 'ennzehnten Kongresses Dcntschen Volkszvirte, quoted 
by Hiibbe-Schleiden, Deutsche {Colonisation. Vide, also, Schmoller's 
Jahrbuch, 1881, pp. 325 et seq. 

135] THE TEST 135 

diately in furthering a colonial policy. Nevertheless, it ad- 
vanced the colonial movement a long way on the road to 
success, by clearly defining the issue, by disclosing the avowed 
support of the Government, by giving wide publicity to the 
subject, by definitely lining up the supporters and opponents 
and, finally, by indicating the work still to be accomplished. 
We shall next follow the colonial party and the Government, 
working side by side as partners, to promote the movement 
through its final stage which ended in the ultimate triumph 
of a state-directed colonialism. 


The Triumph 

Between the years 1881 and 1884 the colonial party and 
the Government endeavored each in its way to achieve the 
triumph of a state-directed colonialism. Their task was 
to create a powerful public opinion in favor of expansion 
sufficient to enable the administration to emerge from the 
position of hesitancy and political precaution into which 
it had been driven by the failure of the Samoan Subsidy. 
Throughout these four years the colonial party cooperated 
with and supplemented the policy and tactics of the Govern- 
ment. Indeed, the inter-action of these two forces supplies 
the keynote to the period and the explanation of the final 
triumph of colonialism in 1884. For the colonialist leaders 
and the administration finally succeeded in initiating a 
state-directed colonial policy by a bold stroke, although they 
discovered, at the same time, that they had to reckon still 
with a formidable opposition in the country and that they 
had on their hands another year's fight to secure parliamen- 
tary ratification. 

r e will trace first the work of the colonial party, as it 
was the leader in the campaign until the year 1883. After 
the defeat of the Samoan Subsidy Bill, the party lined up 
\its cohorts of every kind and united all the scattered en- 
thusiasts for colonialism in a definite organization — the 
'.oloniaherein. Indeed the history of the Kolonialverein 
presents an excellent picture of the convergence into one 
main and deep channel of all the streams, currents and 
136 [136 

137] THE TRJ UMPH itf 

eddies, which went to make up the entire colonial movement, 
and in its final organization it exhibits the union of the the- 
orists and the practical colonialists under the leadership of 
the latter. 

Several societies had already appeared in Germany as 
forerunners of the Kolonialverein. The first of these, the 
West Deutsch Verein fur Colonisation und Export, founded 
by Fabri at Diisseldorf in 1880, was an offshoot from the 
Central Association for Commercial Geography and Ger- 
man Interests Abroad. The Society's avowed purpose was 
to devote all its activity solely to the establishment of colon-\ 
ies; its special aim, as announced in 1880, " to influence the 
Government in acquiring German trade and plantation set- 
tlements." It directed its attention to trade and business 
projects, endeavoring particularly to prepare a place for! 
Germans in South America. This active society later 
joined the Kolonialverein in 1883. 

Next in importance as a forerunner was the Leipzig 
Verein fiir Hand els Geographic which boasted objects similar 
to those of the West Deutsch Verein. In 1882 both these 
societies sent a commission to Argentina and Paraguay to 
study the possibilities and opportunities in those lands. 
Also they were both instrumental in founding in Leipzig 
in 1884 the South American Colonial Company. And to- 
gether with the Central Association they contributed to 
the establishment of rich trade museums, which the Prus- 
sion Government welcomed with the warmest sympathy. 

The Central Association for Commercial Geography also 
formed many branches which emphasized colonial interests. 
The year 1882, alone, witnessed the founding of Geogra- 
phical Societies at Jena, at Konigsberg and at Lubeck. 1 

Together with these societies there existed various others 
for exploration and travel, groups of Rhenish Industrials 

1 Globus, 1882, pp. 126, 239. 


like Friederichs, Hasenklever, and Heindahl, who were very 
much in favor of economic expansion over-seas, and asso- 
ciations of Hanse merchants such as Woermann and Mosle, 
Godeffroy's successors. 1 

Thus there were many movements, all unrelated, un- 
coordinated. But there was no one concerted effort for 
colonization, and, moreover, the existing societies and groups 
were small in themselves. A central organization which 
would unite all these various efforts was conspicuously lack- 
ing. The preparation for it was complete. 

XThe idea of a plan for one large, all-inclusive colonial 
society may be credited to three men, who gave it expression 
lmost simultaneously — Frieherr von Maltzan, von der 
3riiggen and Prince Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Von Malt- 
:an as a naturalist had just returned in 1882 from a journey 
n Senegambia, where he had stayed for some time with 
Friedrich Colin, a German merchant from the Rhine dis- 
trict. Colin, representing a French house, had been in 
Senegambia twelve years and regretted exceedingly to see 
France, England, Portugal and not Germany, acquiring land 
there for commercial advantage. Von Maltzan, influenced 
by Colin, and likewise impressed himself by Germany's in- 
action, wrote two stirring articles on the subject which ap- 
peared in the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung, in May, 1882, 
and which were subsequently published in a brochure, en- 
titled Hand els Kolonieen, Ein Lebensfrage fur Deutsch- 
land. Likewise, with Colin's aid, von Maltzan had reached 
the conclusion that the only way to secure an opening for 
Germany in Senegambia or anywhere in Africa was to 
form a national society of all those interested in colonial 
enterprise, to finance a commercial occupation by a private 

1 Die Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft, 1882-1907 (Berlin, 1908), p. 5. 

2 Augsburg Allg. Zeitung, May, 1882. 

I3 9] THE TRIUMPH 139 

company, and then to apply for imperial support and pro- 
tection. He therefore wrote invitations to all persons 
known to be in favor of colonialism and also inserted a 
notice to the same effect in the newspapers. Hiibbe- 
Schleiden replied to von Maltzan's invitation on June 8, 
1882, and promised support. He wrote as follows: 'I 
came to Berlin a short time ago in order to organize just 
such a central focus for colonial efforts as you plan for 
your Kolonialverein. But, in the meantime, I have become 
persuaded that the time is not ripe to aim at such a practical 
goal. Practical ends [in colonization] are not achieved by 
such organizations. They serve rather for political and cul- 
tural agitation." 1 

Von Maltzan received this reply, together with a similar 
one from Freytag, and grew very much discouraged by the 
general lack of response to his appeal. Soon, however, 
Prince Hohenlohe-Langenburg, attracted by the newspaper 
notice, wrote him that he had realized for a long time the 
political need of colonies; that he, in fact, had been in 
correspondence about the project with von der Briiggen, a 
traveller and man of means, the author of several articles 
on expansion which had appeared during the year 1882 in 
the Preussiches Jahrbuch. 2 One of these articles had ex- 
pressed the sentiment that, " It would be an incalculable 
tragedy for Germany if finally colonization was not car- 
ried on by a great company." Prince Hohenlohe was in- 
spired by study and travel with colonial ideas; he had been 
Vice President of the Reichstag when the Samoan project 
failed; and he had evidently gained an appreciation of the 
political need of colonies. He had experienced, further- 
more, the advantage of national organization in the Yacht 
Club of which he was president. Hohenlohe invited von 

1 Die Deutsche Kolonialgeschaft, pp. 6, 7. 
1 Preussisches Jahrbuch, March, 1882. 


Maltzan to cooperate with von der Briiggen and himself in a 
national society. Thus he formed the connecting link which 
was needed between von Maltzan and von der Briiggen. 
Hohenlowe united the economic and political colonial in- 
terests and the motives of trade, travel, exploration, science, 
and national necessity, although it is significant to note that 
von Maltzan, who had taken the first real initiative in the 
affair, primarily represented the economic motive. 

The result of the cooperation of these three men was a 
summons to all those interested in colonialism in any way — 
the great industrials, representatives from societies, and the 
Boards of Trade of Frankfort and Offenbach — to meet in 
Frankfort (since Miguel, the Biirgermeister of Frankfort 
was an ardent colonialist), to discuss the question of placing 
the colonial ambition of Germans upon a broader base. 
The preparatory meeting was held on August 26, 1882; it 
appointed a committee which issued, on September 12, a 
circular embodying the objects of the proposed society and 
an appeal for members. The objects were stated as fol- 
lows : " To extend to a larger circle the realization of the 
necessity of applying national energy to the field of colon- 

" To form a central organization for all the hitherto scat- 
tered efforts for expansion. 

" To create some method for the practical solution of the 
question." 1 

The circular and invitation was signed by representative 
colonial leaders and protagonists. We quote some of the 
names of the signers, in order to illustrate the cooperation 
of all phases of colonial theory and practice in the founda- 
tion of the Koloniahcrein: Dr. Emile Jung, firm of Jant- 
zen and Thormalhen of Hamburg ; Lammers, Editor of the 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 8. 


Bremen Handelsblatt; Dr. Oscar Lenz; Meier of Bremen, 
Head of the North German Lloyd; Dr. A. B. Meyer, 
Director of the Royal Zoological and Anthropological 
Museum of Dresden; Moldenhauer, an engineer and writer 
for colonialism; Dr. Kirchhoff, Head of the Geographical 
Society in Halle; F. Loesen, a ship owner of Hamburg: 
Rohlfs, an African explorer; Professor Schmoller, of 
Berlin; Schloeman, a shipper of Hamburg; Clemens Den- 
hardt, a merchant of Berlin; Dr. Fischer, Professor of 
Geography in the University of Kiel; Dr. Gustav Freytag; 
Fabri; and Hiibbe-Schleiden. 1 

The circular was then published in the papers together 
with a manifesto addressed to the country. The latter 
showed the need of increasing commercial outlets, in order 
to establish and maintain close touch with Germans over 
seas, and called attention in quite an alarming way to Ger- 
many's position as growing more and more restricted abroad. 
Most of the German press gave it space, but the only 
acknowledgment of the Bayerische Vaterland was the com- 
ment, " It is very kind of the Kolonialverein to send us 
their long announcement, but I and most of my readers are 
not interested in colonies, unless a colony should be estab- 
lished within a couple of dozen miles where Prussians might 
be exported. In that case then, we would be much in 
favor of them ! " 

Many leading men, however, responded to the call, par- 
ticularly the industrial magnates of the West and South and 
members of societies already organized. Some difficulty 
was encountered at first with the citizens of the Hansq 
Towns, the leading circles of Bremen and Liibeck, in spite| 
of the great efforts made to win them by literature and 
lectures. Hiibbe-Schleiden constituted himself a special 

1 Die Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft, p. 12. 


emissary to them and wrote that they held aloof because 
of suspicion and that their attitude seemed to be, " We know 
those Frankforters, their ideas sound well, but at bottom they 
only want our money and wish to supplement their capital 
with ours." 1 The criticism was also made that the Kolon- 
ialverein represented no definite enterprise, that it appeared 
to business men entirely too theoretical. Lammers of Bre- 
men wrote that not a voice in its favor was to be heard there. 
Senator Klugman wrote from Lii'beck that he foresaw no 
increase of industrial opportunity in the Kolonialvere'm. 
Professor Rein of Marburg expressed the opinion that the 
Verein was all theory and lacked money and power. 2 All 
these men represented the point of view of the extreme type 
of practical colonialists, men who were too impatient to 
adopt the slow method of educating public opinion. Gradu- 
ally, nevertheless, they were won over in sufficient numbers 
to warrant the establishment of an organization. The Kol- 
onialrcrein was accordingly founded and its constitution 
drawn up on December 6, 1882, at Frankfort. The presi- 
dent, Prince Hohenlohe-Langenburg, announced on that 
occasion that, " The Verein was founded by men of all par- 
ties and positions in life and had met with an entirely unex- 
pected response." 3 

The " parties and positions " were indeed most evident in 
the discussions over the constitution. Here again appeared 
the clash and final compromise among the various motives 
and aims of colonialism. For instance, Rohlfs wished the 
Society to engage merely in scientific study and to determine 
what areas were of greatest economic value for the Father- 
land. Fabri spoke in favor of the guidance of emigration 

1 Die Deutsche Kolomalgesellschaft, p. 13. 

J Zimmermarm, op. cit., p. 38. 

s Die Deutsche Kolomalgesellschaft, p. 18. 

143] THE TRIUMPH 143 

and the establishment of colonies as the primary object. 
Fabri emphasized also the great necessity of avoiding anta- 
gonism with the Government ; he stipulated as a condition of 
the union of his West Deutsch Verein with the Kolonial- 
verein, that " no sentence appear in the constitution which 
might offend the Governmet.". ..." We cannot afford to 
hit our heads against a stone wall or to deal with an anta- 
gonistic Government." Meier, on the other hand, thought 
it impossible and inexpedient to found colonies and urged 
that the object of the Society should be the furtherance of 
imperial protection of trade and commerce. Miguel agreed 
with Meier that the purpose of the Verein should be not to 
establish colonies or financial enterprises, but to work for 
the governmental protection of already existing establish- 
ments and to make the colonial issue something upon which 
the entire nation and not a small group might unite. 

The result of the discussion was the usual result — a 
compromise, and hence we find the aims of the Kolonial- 
verein, as expressed by its constitution, very general and 
elastic, in order to suit the minds of all those present. ' Its 
principal work is to educate public opinion ; .... to form 
a central organization for colonial ambitions ; . . . . not to 
found colonies which would involve the Governmeent in 
serious political difficulties; but to confine its efforts to the 
establishment of small trading stations and to strive for the 
official protection of the administration." 1 

The method pursued by the Kolonialverein consisted 
chiefly of organizing branches, publishing propaganda, send- 
ing out lecturers, and striving to establish friendly 
and cooperative relationships with other societies. Its sue- 
cess was shown when the West Deutsch Verein with its fivej 
hundred members joined the Kolonialverein in 1883. The 
only practical work of the Society, although many such 

1 Die Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft, pp. 9, 10. 


schemes were projected, consisted in a settlement in Para- 
guay, whither a commission was despatched on Ootober 23, 
1882, and where the German flag was raised (without of- 
ficial authority) in 1883. 1 Thus, in spite of tremendous 
opposition, von Maltzan even going so far as to resign from 
the Kolonialverein, the Society achieved in its second year a 
real settlement under the red, black and white flag. 

The growth and success of the Kolonialvercin in win- 
i ning adherence to the cause was remarkable, for by De- 
Icember 31, 1883, after one year's work, it numbered three 
thousand two hundred and sixty members and had foot- 
holds in four hundred and ninety-two places in Germany 
and in forty-three abroad including nineteen outside of 
Europe. 2 Furthermore, it was strong enough to launch an 
official organ, the Kolonialzeiiung / whose first issue, appear- 
ing in January, 1884, stated in its introductory article that 
the Kolonialvercin had been founded by men from all parts 
of Germany in response to a general expression of a national 
desire. The journal called upon all patriotic men to further 
the work of the colonial party. Its appeal was not political 
or partisan, but rather universal and national. Two years 
of active propaganda achieved wonders in shaping public 
opinion. " Men of all parties now belong to the Kolonial- 
verein. The Kolonialveriji stands far removed from the 
strife of parties and represents only a national purpose," 
said President Hohenlohe-Langenburg at the first general 
convention held in Eisenach, on September 4, 1884. 4 In 
one year, 1884-1885, the membership increased over three 
hundred percent, rising to ten thousand, two hundred and 

1 Die Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft, p. 26. 

7 Ibid., p. 25. 

s Die Kolonialzeitung, 1884. 

* Der Europ'discher Geschichtskalendar, December 31, 1883. 

145] THE TRI UMPH I45 

Another organization — Die Gesellscliaft fur Deutsche 
Kolonisation — was, in addition to the Kolonialverein, a 
moulder of public opinion and an influence for the growth 
of colonialism. It was founded by Karl Peters in Berlin 
on April 3, 1884, for the very practical object of raising- 
capital to finance colonies in East Africa. 1 When Dr. Peters 
attempted to win official interest for the Society, he en- 
countered the lively opposition of the Kolonialverein, whose 
members thought that any scattering of effort would weaken 
the whole movement. An amalgamation of the two socie- 
ties was proposed but great difficulties lay in the way : Peters 
stood for an active policy of immediate annexation ; while 
the Kolonialverein was more cultural, more educational, 
more interested in supporting enterprises already started. 
A long debate ensued and resulted in a decision against 
amalgamation. It had the advantage, however, of eliciting 
protracted discussion in the press, which drew public at- 
tention to the colonial question and inflamed party spirit. 
Final amalgamation with the Kolonialverein ultimately came 
about, however, on November 19. 1887. The result was 
the foundation of a single great society, Die Deutsche 
Kolonialgesellschaft, which became a powerful and influen- 
tial factor in the later history of German colonialism. 2 

The colonial party accompanied its work of organizing' 
and consolidating its scattered forces by a renewal of vigor- 
ous public propaganda. We have seen what a firm founda- 
tion the colonialists had already laid in this respect during 
the years from 1879 to 1881. Now, the defeat of the j 
Samoan project served to enlist scores of new apologists' 
for the cause. The new literature embodied for the most 
part the same arguments as that preceding it. which has all 

1 Die Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft, pp. 36, 37. 
* Herrfurth, op. cit., pp. 24-25. 


been described in Chapter IV and needs no further exposi- 
tion here. But the new propaganda possessed several char- 
acteristics novel in kind or tone. 

First, the prevalence of articles dealing with colonialism 
became conspicuous in German periodicals after 1881. 
This was not evident formerly, when the propaganda con- 
sisted principally of brochures, pamphlets, and books pri- 
vately published. The change indicated, perhaps, that col- 
onialism now occupied a more prominent place in general 
discussion and had been promoted to a position of more 
or less national interest. Efforts of the colonial party 
were bearing fruit. The Prcussiches Jahrbuch, especially, 
abounded in articles on colonization, a fact which, if we 
bear in mind its semi-official character, serves to confirm 
the idea that the Government was, if not actually sympa- 
thetic, at least not antagonistic to the movement 1 

Another characteristic of the literature of the period was 
the publication of new editions of former works which had 
supported the expansion movement directly or indirectly. 
For instance, Roscher's book, Kolonial Politik, Kolonieen 
und Auszvanderiing was re-edited for the third time in 1885 
and was followed shortly by a flood of literature which ex- 
alted and advertised the colonial exploits of Brandenburg- 
Prussia and the Great Elector. 2 The best of these new 
editions, however, belong rather beyond our period. 

1 Von der Briiggen, " Auswanderung, Kolonisation," " Der Deutsche 
Kolonialverein." " Einige Worte zur Kolonisation," " Der Kanzler und 
Kolonialpol," Preussische Jahrbiicher, March, 1882, p. 290; January, 
1883, p. 64: July, 1884, p. 34; February, 1885, p. 171. Treitschke, "Die 
Ersten Versuchen Deutscher Kolonialpolitik," Preussisches Jahrbuch, 
December, 1884, p. 555. Among other articles were: Geffcken, "Deut- 
sche Kolonialpolitik," Der Deutsche Rundschau, April, May, 1882, pp. 
33, 206, and October, 1884, p. 120 ; Gefoauer, " Zur Deutschen Kolonial- 
fragen," Augsburg Allg. Zt., 1882, Beilage, nos. 18, 20, 22, 25, 28, 30, 32. 

4 Hoffmeister, Die Maritimen und Kolonialen Bestrebungen des 
Grossen Kurfurstens (Em den, 1886) ; Hyack, Brandenburgische- 
Deutsche Kolonialplane (1887). 

147] THE TRIUMPH 14 y 

Prominent among new works on colonialism appearing 
during these years, were further works by Hubbe-Schlei- 
den, 1 Emil Deckert's two hundred and fifty page volume 
containing every known argument for colonies, 2 and a des- 
criptive book on Af rica by Oberlander. 3 

It must be observed, moreover, that the opposition litera- 
ture, the attacks and protests of the enemies of colonial- 
ism, decreased in number. The one important work of 
this character, during these years was Stegemann's Deutsclv- 
laivds Kolonialpolitik.* The book summarized the argu- 
ments of expense, political difficulties, and the disadvantage 
of a colonial policy which was always striving to promote 
the economic welfare of a nation at the expense of the poli- 
tical. Stegemann was forced to admit that " the colonial 
literature has grown very much," but claimed that " the 
German press, with the exception of the Kblnische Zeitung 
(also semi-official ), has not shown any definite support," 
and hence, he argued, " must not be in favor of colonial- 
ism." It is interesting to note that Stegemann did not 
say that the German press showed any signs of hostility as 
he doubtless would have said had he been able to prove it. 
E. Hasse reviewed the book, unfavorably, in the Kolonial 
Zeitung; 6 he set it down as the view of the "old genera- 
tion of internationalists," who believed not in the expres- 
sion of an individual culture and nationalism through colon- 
ies, but in " a mixing of German culture with others — an 

1 Hiibbe-Schleiden, Kolonisations Politik und Technik (Hamburg, 
1883); Uberseeischc Politik (Hamburg, 1881). 

a Deckert, E, Die Kolonialreiche, pt. ii (1883); Deckert, E., und 
Kolonisationsobjecte (Leipzig, 1885). 
3 Oberlander, Deutsch-Afrika (Leipzig, 1885). 

* Stegemann, Deutschlands Kolonialpolitik (Berlin, 1884). 

* Stegemann, op. cit., p. 37. 

' Die Kolonialzeitung, 1884, vol. iii, p. 6. 


internationalism." Indeed this " old generation," so termed 
by the colonialists, were becoming literally old ; their voices 
in opposition to a national colonialism were growing weaker 
and weaker. Minor objections, however, began to be 
voiced by another group, the Socialists, as illustrated by 
Max Schippel in his book, Das Mod erne Elend, 1 and by 
Karl Kautsky, 2 who attempted to show that the economic 
unrest of Germany was due to social mal-adjustment and 
not to over-population. These Socialists claimed that col- 
onies would not relieve all social ills, and, also, that money 
expended on colonization would be better spent upon the 
improvement of conditions at home. It must be noted, how- 
ever that the Socialists' hostility did not spring from an 
undivided opposition to colonialism, but rather from an an- 
tagonism towards the entire " bourgeois system," and from 
a primary desire to propagate the gospel of Karl Marx. 

Finally, we have to consider as part of the colonial party's 
work, during the years from 188 1 to 1884, its further ef- 
forts in behalf of direct colonial action in overseas expan- 
sion. It continued to encourage industrial initiative in 
founding trade settlements and to solicit governmental sup- 
port for these ventures. In this way it indirectly influenced 
public opinion and served to keep before the nation thriving 
examples of colonial undertakings and the need of admin- 
istrative protection. The merchants, traders and specula- 
tors, all the commercial colonialists, were apparently not in 
the least discouraged by the defeat of the Samoan Subsidy 
and were enormously encouraged by the Government's 
sympathy and cooperation on that occasion. They re- 
doubled their efforts to increase the sphere of overseas 

1 Schippel, Das Moderne Elend und die Moderne Ubervolkung: Ein 
Wort gcgen Kolonieen (Leipzig, 1883). 

1 Kautsky, "Auswanderung und Kolonisation," Die Neue Zeit., 1883, 
PP- 365-393- 

149] THE TRIUMPH 149 

mercantile opportunity and endeavored simultaneously to 
win back the administrative support so summarily with- 
drawn after the defeat of the Subsidy Bill. 

We have already seen how both Mosle and von Hanse- 
mann applied to the Chancellor for a state subsidy the very 
year of the Samoan failure. 1 Old and new colonial adven- 
turers and promoters followed them. For instance, the 
Barmen Mission petitioned in 1881 for commercial pro- 
tection for its settlement in Africa; 2 in September, 1882, 
Gustav and Clemens Denhardt petitioned the Government 
for support of a proposed establishment in Tana. 3 The 
Denhardt brothers had made considerable progress iri 
Africa : they had continued the friendly relations established 
by the explorers Brenner and von Decken with the chiefs 
of Witu, and had drawn up a plan for a colony. In order 
to finance the venture they influenced the formation of a 
" quiet company " in Berlin in 1883, after they had applied 
to the Kolonialvcrein in vain.* Moreover, Colin of Stutt- 
gart, long in the service of a French house in Senegambia, 
decided, towards the end of the year 1883, to settle there 
for himself. The Kolonialverein refused him aid, for it 
adhered to its announced policy of avoiding direct action 
in colonialism which might involve Germany in difficulties 
with foreign Powers. However, Colin secured support 
from his brother, from the director of the IViirtemburg 
Vereinsbank, and from several others. He chose Denbiah 
for his establishment, persuaded the chiefs to ask for Ger- 
man protection, and carried their request for the same to 
Berlin, early in the year 1884. 5 So great indeed was the 

1 Cf. supra, p. 130. 

* Zimmerman*}, op. cit., p. 46. 
3 Ibid. 

* Koschitzky, vol. i, p. 243. 

5 Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 190. 


growth of trade settlements in West Africa along the Gold 
Coast, that the following firms, in addition to those 1 already 
there, either entered for the first time, or enlarged their 
former holdings between the years 1880 and 1884 : Woelber 
and Brothers of Hamburg, settling at Lome, Bageida and 
Klein Popo; Goldelt of Hamburg, at Lome and Wydah; 
Vietor and Sons of Bremen, at Lome, Bageida and Klein 
Popo; Witt and Biisch; Gaiser Voight and Company, at 
Porto Novo; Muller, Rosenbusch, and Liideritz. 1 Several 
firms established German factories in Togoland, preferring 
to make their own settlements largely because England im- 
posed on all trade in that district her burdensome customs 
duties. So considerable had become the trade, moreover, 
that the firm of Woerman, of long standing in Africa, 
founded in 1882 a steamship line running from Hamburg to 
West Africa, thus forming a direct connection between 
Germany and the commercial colonial posts. 2 

The South Seas exhibited no less an increase of commer- 
cial and colonial activity than did West Africa, after the 
failure of the Samoan Subsidy, although von Hansemann 
had represented the situation in his memorial as quite 
the contrary. 3 The Deutsche Handels und Plantagengesell- 
schaft, successors to Godeffroy, had proceeded, as will be 
recalled, without the Samoan Subsidy. In 1883, the com- 
pany was controlling eighteen trading stations in New 
Britain, the Hermit and Duke of York Islands. 4 Indeed it 
seemed to be prospering without administrative aid. On 
February 23, 1884, the German North Borneo Company 
sprang into existence at Hamburg and bought ten thousand 
acres from the English North Borneo Company. Consul 

1 JVeissbuch, 1885, p. 24. Vide, also, Cheradame, op. cit., p. 172. 

* Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 47. 

* Hahn-Wippennann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 72. 

* Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 232. 

I5 i] THE TRIUMPH 151 

Struebel summed up the prosperous condition of the South 
Sea trade, as well as the great opportunities still open to 
German merchants, in his report to the Chancellor on De- 
cember 18, 1883. 1 He stated therein that Germany's copra 
import amounted in one year to from two to- three thousand 
tons, whereas the need of supplies, food, clothes, and all 
sorts of manufactured goods, was so great as to afford a tre- 
mendous market for export. Furthermore, the consuls 
and merchants were continually urging upon the Govern- 
ment, and hence indirectly upon the nation, the pressing need 
for imperial protection of all trade and commercial effort 
in the South Pacific. They asked for the extension of 
consular and naval service, as well as for the appointment of 
special officials whose duty it would be to supervise overseas 

The Government was far more subtle in its attempt to 
sway public opinion for colonialism than was the colonial 
party; it employed the finesse of diplomacy rather than a 
direct attack. Unlike the colonial part)', whose leaders 
could openly strike at ignorance, indifference, opposition 
and every obstacle to expansion, the Goverment felt con- 
strained to proceed with greater caution. Bismarck, as we 
have already noted, found himself in a difficult position after 
the defeat of the Samoan Subsidy. Heartily in sympathy 
with expansion, as he had then revealed himself in 1880, 
he seemed, during the years 1880-1885, to become firmly 
determined to establish a colonial policy for the empire. 
The pressure of external circumstances, such as the imperial- 
istic acquisitions of France in Tonkin and Tunis, of Italy in 
the Red Sea, and of England in Egypt and India, evidently 
strengthened his decision. On the other hand, however, he 
dared not alienate the supporters of his policy in the Reich- 

j ■' ^ l Weissbuch, 1885. pp. 131- 150. 


stag who were none too strong or numerous. For, during 
the early eighties, he was struggling against the opposition 
to his new tariff policy, his social insurance legislation and 
his increasingly sympathetic support of commercial and 
economic interests. Illustrative of the antagonism which 
he met, was his attempt throughout the entire year 1881 
to form an Economic Council for the empire similar to 
the one already successfully established for Prussia, l but 
the proposal twice suffered defeat in the Reichstag.* 
Again, his assumption of the office of Minister of Trade 
and Commerce at the end of the year 1880, another proof 
of his sympathy with the business interests, created grave 
suspicion in the minds of his political opponents. 3 Ham- 
pered by this decided antagonism and mindful of political 
considerations, Bismarck employed two means of arousing 
a public sentiment in favor of colonialism. The first was a 
secret encouragement of the colonial party, accompanied by 
a continual testing of the temper of the nation to determine 
how far his support might go; the other was a revival of 
his characteristic policy of creating a chauvinistic attitude 
in Germany, especially towards England, with the ulterior 
purpose of arousing an enthusiasm for colonial expansion. 
In regard to the first means, Bismarck, as it were, kept 
one hand on the pulse of public opinion, while with the 
other he cautiously aided and abetted the colonial movement, 
quickly withdrawing his aid. however, the minute that 
national antagonism approached the danger point. Is this 
not his position, in the first place, in relation to the Kolonial- 
verein? Would an organization of so universal and power- 
ful a character have been permitted to form or proceed at 

1 Poschinger, Bismarck ah Volksztnrt, vol. ii, p. 9. 
' Ibid., pp. 71, 96. 
3 Ibid., pp. 9-10. 

153] • THE TRJ u Mp H 153 

all, in a country like Germany, had the administration not 
been somewhat in sympathy with its aims ? Let us examine 
the relations between Bismarck and the Society and observe 
how the Chancellor, on the one hand, withheld any definite 
and outspoken support, and, on the other, refrained from 
exerting the slightest opposition. 

From the outset, its leaders strictly denned the attitude of 
the Kolonialverein toward the administration as one of keen 
solicitude to avoid any friction or any interference with the 
foreign policy of the empire. Hubbe-Schleiden and Frey- 
tag clearly enunciated this attitude in their letters to von 
Maltzan. 1 Fabri expressed it by stipulating non-interfer- 
ence with the administration as the one condition of the 
union of his society with the Kolonialverein; while Hohen- 
lohe-Langenburg officially proclaimed it in his speech at the 
first general meeting of the Vcrein at Frankfort, where he 
related how he had made an especial effort to win the 
sympathy and support of the Government. He said, " At 
first the Foreign Office held rather aloof, because it had the 
idea that the Verein aimed to encourage emigration, but as 
a result of further explanation of the Verein' s real object, 
it displayed a friendly attitude. . . . We must endeavor to 
stand in as much accord with the Government as possible." 2 

Toward the end of December, 1882, von Maltzan had an 
interview with the Crown Prince in which the latter mani- 
fested great interest in the work of the Society but showed a 
decided disinclination to take any direct part in its work. 
The political situation, as an article in the official press an- 
nounced, precluded any such action on the part of the Gov- 
ernment at this unsettled time. 3 

' Zimmermann, op. cit., pp. 27-28. 

' Die Deutsche Kolonialgejellschaft, p. 24. 

•Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 42. 


Furthermore, the constitution of the Verein emphasized 
its position as " not wishing to involve the Government in 
any political difficulties," while the " aim of the Verein was 
not to work against the Government but with it; to pre- 
pare its way to educating public opinion." It is also of 
importance to note that the Verein first applied to von Kiis- 
serow, the colonial enthusiast in the Foreign Office, for sup- 
port, sending him one of the original prospectuses, but ob- 
taining no answer. 1 Knowing von Kusserow's sympathy 
with colonialism, did a cautious silence imply consent ? In- 
deed there exists no evidence whatsoever of the slightest 
friction or antagonism between the Government and the 
Kolonialverein, a fact which would appear to substantiate 
the theory that they were, in reality, thoroughly in sympathy 
with one another as to aims; and were only biding their 
time when public opinion and the political condition in Ger- 
many could warrant their open and acknowledged coopera- 

In the next place, Bismarck's attitude towards the activi- 
ties and petitions of the commercial colonialists affords us 
more evidence of his scheme of direct and indirect support. 
It will be recalled that both Mosle and von Hansemann did 
not hesitate to besiege the Chancellor in 1880 for coopera- 
tion with their colonial plans, six months after the defeat of 
the Samoan Subsidy. They were both very close to him 
and could not fail to be aware of his attitude. To be sure 
their requests met with a refusal, which at that time agreed 
with the temper of the nation. It must be noted, however, 
that it was at the Chancellor's request that von Hanse- 
mann drew up and presented the memorial on the condi- 
tion of South Sea trade and had it published in February, 
1 88 1. 2 Bismarck evidently wished the country to know 

1 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 39. 

* Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 202. 

I55 ] THE TRIUMPH 1 55 

that, " after the rejection of the Samoan Subsidy, it is im- 
possible to take any strong initiative in the South Seas ; a 
great set-back to trade must be expected unless Germany 
energetically supports it." * 

Meanwhile, von Hansemann received a reply from the 
Chancellor to the effect that, " The Chancellor considers 
that after the defeat of the Samoan project, it is imprac- 
ticable for him to take any initiative in this direction. The 
country's inclination is not strong enough to warrant sup- 
port of this plan now. As affairs are at present, it would 
have to be left to the action of private initiative, to which 
the Government can only afford consular protection." 2 

The Government, however, followed with great care all 
the activities of the company formed as successors to Gode- 
ffroy in the South Seas and kept its consuls there informed 
of administrative plans. Thus the Chancellor allayed any 
suspicion of governmental action in Oceania which had been 
a particularly tender subject with the Opposition since the 
Samoan Subsidy Bill. 

Bismarck was not idle in other directions, and in contra- 
diction to the sentiments expressed by him on February 18, 
1 88 1. to von Hansemann, he began as early as March 1, 
1 88 1, to broach cautiously, in the official press, the subject of 
state support for a steamship line to the East. 3 He fol- 
lowed up this scheme with a memorial presented to the 
Reichstag, on May 27, 1881, on the necessity of a state sub- 
sidy for the proposed line, 4 with more articles in the press, 
during the summer, entitled, Zur Hebiing des Deutschen 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 72. 

* Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 73. 

* Poschinger, Bismarck als Volkswirt, vol. ii, p. 32, quoting the Nord. 
Dent. Allg. Zt., March t, 1881. 

4 Ibid., p. 74. Vide, also, Anlagen des Deut. Reichstages, 1881, Akten- 
stiick no. 200. 


Ausjuhrhandels } and with an assurance to the Conserva- 
tive Verein of Schoneberg that, " He clung to his economic 
policy with the firm hope that it would result in freeing the 
economic interest of Germany from oppression of ser- 
vitude in which they had, until the present, been held by 
political parties for a political purpose." 

Bismarck's memorial, however, was never even placed 
upon the order of the day and was utterly disregarded. The 
implied rebuff from the Reichstag warned him to take care 
and consequently he turned a deaf ear to the petition of 
the Barmen Mission for protection in 188 1 and to the peti- 
tion of the brothers Denhardt on September 15, 1882. a 
Indeed, his mood revealed itself, we take it, in the somewhat 
peevish tone of his reply to the Counsellor for Commerce, 
Baare, in Bochum, who at the beginning of 1883, recom- 
mended the annexation of Formosa. " Colonies only be- 
long to a mother country in which national feeling is 
stronger than party spirit. The attitude of this Reichstag 
is such, that it is difficult enough to maintain what we al- 
ready have, even to support an army for home defense. 
So long as the empire is so financially disabled, we dare not 
embark on such expensive undertakings. The responsibil- 
ity of colonies would only increase the (exercise ground) 
of the Reichstag. We cannot bear the burden of colonies, 
we can only support trading companies; but even for that 
it would be necessary to have a national Reichstag which 
would have other and higher objects than constant discus- 
sion and the creation of difficulties for the administration." s 

Meanwhile, however. Bismarck was beginning to aid the 
colonial movement secretly in a very material manner, al- 
though his many refusals of support indicated that he did 

1 Poschinper, op. cit., p. 75. 

2 Cj. supra, p. 149. 

3 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 46. 

!^ 7 ] THE TRIUMPH 157 

not dare as yet openly to encourage it. For instance, on 
November 16. 1882, Luderitz, the Bremen merchant long 
active in African trade at Lagos, applied to the Foreign 
Office for imperial protection of the contracts he was 
about to consummate with native chiefs for trade and for the 
establishment of a factory on the Southwest Coast of 
Africa. 1 Bismarck, at the beginning of the year 1883, 
secretly promised him that protection would be afforded if 
he could acquire a harbor to which no other nation might 
rightfully asserted a claim. 2 Luderitz, fortified by this pro- 
mise, went ahead with his plans and took possession of the 
harbor of Angra Pequena in April, 1883. He further ex- 
tended his operations by sending his agent Vogelsang into 
the interior in the following summer for the purpose of 
making treaties and settlements. The latter concluded a 
treaty with the native chiefs on May 1, 1883, acquiring a 
territory of considerable area with all sovereign rights. 8 
Luderitz would hardly have embarked upon such an ex- 
pedition had he not had definite assurances of imperial pro- 
tection from Bismarck — and that he did possess assurances 
is proved by the governmental instructions of August 18, 
1883, to the German Consul in Capetown to accord pro- 
tection and aid to Luderitz : " Herr Luderitz can count on 
the protection of the Imperial Government, so long as his 
actions are based upon justly won rights and do not clash 
with the legitimate claims of others, be they native or 
English." 4 

Furthermore, the Chancellor sent the gun-boat Nautilus 

1 Weissbuch, 1885, pt. i, p. 77. 

* Die Deutsche Kolomalgesellschaft, p. 32. 

* Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. i, pp. 148-150, Vide, also, Cheradame, op. 
cit., p. 72. 

* Weitsbwh, 1885, P*- i. P- 79- 


to Angra Pequena and another warship to Little Popo in 
the month of January, 1884. 

Likewise, Bismarck accorded direct support and protec- 
tion to the South Sea traders : in response to their petitions, 
especially to the memorial of Consul Struebel in Apia of 
December 18, 1883, the Chancellor replied that he was ap- 
pointing special commissioners to whom he would entrust 
all German interests in the Islands of New Britain and 
New Ireland and whose authority he would further rein- 
force by German warships. 1 

Bismarck not only met the individual colonialists half 
way, so far as it was possible without exciting suspicion, but 
he took a most decided initiative in 1883 in advancing a 
colonial policy. 2 Indeed, after Liideritz applied to him for 
protection and after the German people received Luderitz's 
exploits with approval, he seems to have decided that the 
time was ripe for colonial activity, and that public opinion 
was more favorable. 3 He still realized, however, that 
necessity for caution was great and he therefore drew closer 
to the merchants, the commercial colonialists, for advice 
and guidance in his more definite policy. 

The apparently unfriendly action of England and France 
in concluding a Colonial Convention on June 28, 1882, 4 
strengthened the Chancellor in his decision to launch a 
colonial policy of his own. The Convention negotiated a 
demarcation line for the extension of English and French 
territory northward from Sierra Leone, and it also estab- 
lished high custom duties which were resented by German 
firms, especially by Woermann. Bismarck seized the op- 
portunity afforded by the Convention to ask the Senates 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 75. 

2 Herrfurth, op. cit., p. 32. 

' Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 150. 

* Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 32. Vide, also, CheradanK, 
op. cit., p. 72. 

I59 ] THE TRIUMPH 159 

of the Haiise towns on April 14, 1883, to submit sugges- 
tions to the Government for the protection of German trade 
in Africa; and in so doing he both tested public opinion and 
promoted colonial interests. The suggestions, embodied in 
Dcnkschrifts from the German firms, were accordingly sub- 
mitted in July, 1883. We summarize their principal ideas 
in order to show the strength of public opinion in the Hanse 
towns in favor of imperialism and to indicate how far the 
commercial colonialists thought that the government should 
embark at that time upon a state-directed colonialism. 

Liibeck expressed the need of direct communication with 
the African Coast. 

Bremen desired the protection of warships and treaties 
with the local chiefs to offset the burdens laid upon German 
trade by England and France. 1 

Hamburg gave the most valuable advice of all, as fol- 
lows : ( 1 ) German Consul on the Gold Coast; (2) more ex- 
tended consular treaties; (3) commercial treaties with inde- 
pendent negro princes on the Coast, supported by warships ; 
(4) stationing of warships near, and establishment of naval 
base on. the Spanish Island of Fernando Po; (5) neutraliz- 
ing the mouth of the Congo River; and (6) founding of a 
trade colony at Biafra Bay. 2 

On December 22, 1883, the Foreign Office notified the 
petitioners that their demands were being considered, that 
it would be grateful for even more information, and, finally, 
that it had already made provision for, ( 1 ) The appointment 
of a consul; (2) the creation of a commission to supervise 
German interests on the West Coast of Africa; (3) the sta- 
tioning of warships on the Coast; and (4) the dispatching 
of the S.S. Sophie to North Africa. 3 

1 Weissbuch, July 9, 1883, p. 5. 

a Weissbuch, July 6, 1883, no. 3. 

3 Hahn-Wippcrmann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 22. 


jThe Chancellor thus applied his first scheme of dealing 
with public opinion : he afforded a discreet encouragement 
to the colonial movement and a cautious direct support, kut 
he never once allowed himself to go too far and arouse 
h utility or antagonism, for he cleverly remained constantly 
in touch with the fluctuations of colonial sentiment in Ger- 
many. The closer he drew to the commercial colonialists, 
the more he sympathized with their point of view, and the 
stronger became his resolution and conviction that colonial- 
ism was essential to the empire. Nevertheless as late as July. 
1883, after he had definitely promised support to Luderitz 
and invoked petitions from the Hanse towns, he publicly 
announced in the press that, " The purchase and support 
of colonies would entail financial sacrifices for which the 
German states had not now the money. . . . The German 
Empire would place about its neck a tremendous burden of 
responsibility if it should acquire colonies at present/' 1 

Circumstances, however, were becoming propitious for 
die Chancellor to set in motion his second scheme of mani- 
pulating public opinion in favor of a colonial policy. In- 
deed, the opportunity lay ready at hand to enable him to 
use his remarkable diplomatic skill to arouse a chauvinistic 
patriotism in Germany towards the threatening colonial en- 
croachments of England. He first employed such tactics 
in May, 1882. in relation to the South Sea affairs. He then 
deliberately revived the unsettled question of England's in- 
demnities to the dispossessed Fijian settlers. The Chan- 
cellor sent a note to the English Government recalling the 
fact that the claims had been urged for eight years, ever 
since 1875, an ^ he enclosed a petition, lately received from 
one of the injured German interests in Fiji, the firm of 
Rabone, Feez and Company." The note elicited from 

' Herrfurth, op. cit., p. 31. 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, pp. 187-188. 

t6i] THE TRIUMPH r 6l 

land only another promise; and Bismarck heard, on No- 
vember 7, 1882, from his representative, Count Miinster in 
London, that the " English Government, as a result of the 
finding's of the land commision in Fiji, seemed little inclined 
to examine their claims as they were made from a very 
biased point of view.'' 1 It had become only too evident 
that England meant to postpone the entire Fijian settlement 
indefinitely. The Chancellor then decided to take vigorous 
action in the matter. He asked England on April 16, 1883, 
to submit the claims to a joint commission composed of 
Englishmen and Germans. 2 England seemed not at all 
disposed to consent to this proposal and the diplomatic cor- 
respondence dragged on with increasingly peremptory notes 
from Bismarck on October 18, and December 27, 1883, and 
April 8, 1884. 3 Not until June 19, 1884, did England agree 
to the establishment of a joint commission. 4 The corres- 
pondence and the attitude of the Chancellor, however, had 
had their effect, for they served to create the impression in 
Germany that not only were England's commercial and 
colonial methods a menace to the Fatherland, but that any 
country might in the same manner infringe upon the pr<; 
perty rights of Germans anywhere overseas without re- 
paration. The affairs stirred up the people to a keen realiza- 
tion of the need of actual annexation in order to secure ade- 
quate protection ; even " the enemies of colonialism began 
to debate the question favorably." B 

Fiji, however, was not the only spot in the South Seas 
which could cause German feeling to run high and national 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 188. 

2 Ibid., pp. 188-189. 
1 Ibid., p. 189. 

* Ibid., p. 190. Vide, also, Herrfurth, op. cit., pp. 20-22. 

* Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 145. 


and patriotic passions to become inflamed under the careful 
guidance of the Chancellor. On November 27, 1882, the 
Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung published an article by Emil 
Deckert, advising the Government to annex and colonize 
New Guinea. 1 The Sydney Morning Herald copied the 
article and succeeded in arousing a strong anti-German 
feeling in Australia. 2 The Australian press demanded that 
England annex New Guinea. The excitement became so 
intense that the Governor of Queensland overstepped his 
authority in his zeal and took it upon himself to occupy a 
section of New Guinea in the name of Great Britain on 
April 4, 1883. The British Colonial Office speedily repu- 
diated the act and intimated that it could not be respon- 
sible financially for such an occupation and that the Aus- 
tralian colonies would have to bear the burden of expense. 
The Australian colonies consequently adopted a sort of 
Monroe Doctrine for the South Seas, which was contained 
in the resolutions passed at the Inter-Colonial Convention 
held in Sydney, December 3, 1883. One resolution pro- 
posed the formation of an Australian League; another 
favored the annexation of New Guinea and the neighboring- 
islands not held by the Dutch ; and finally, a third opposed 
the annexation by a foreign Power of any land in the South 
Seas below the equator. 3 Consul Krauel of Sydney and 
Consul Struebel of Apia, as well as interested business firms, 
duly reported to Bismarck the news of Australia's aggres- 
sive imperialism. Consul Struebel also prepared a long re- 
port urging the official protection of labor transporta- 
tion to the German plantations in Samoa by specially ap- 
pointed officers supported by warships. He said : " It is a 
question not only of providing labor for the German plan- 

1 Augsburg Allg. Zt., Nov. 27, 1882. 

' Cheradame, op. cit., p. 109. 

3 Koschitzky, op. cit., vol. ii. p. 236. 

^3] ' THE TRIUMPH ^3 

tations but of winning almost half of the South Sea Islands' 
trade, as yet untouched, for Germany. We must either do 
it at once and take the wind out of England's sails or else 
lose it entirely." x 

Furthermore, Consul Hernsheim of Jaluit reported the sit- 
uation in the South Seas to be more serious. He complained 
to the Chancellor of the trespassing and interference of the 
English labor ships, of the disturbance of German freedom 
of trade with the natives, and of the destruction of a Ger- 
man trade station on the Laughlan Islands by the English 
steamer Stanley. 2 Petitions and complaints from private 
business firms increased the urgent need of official action. 

In response to all these reports, Bismarck assumed a firm 
stand towards England. On January 5, 1884, he demanded 
reparation for the damage wrought by the S. S. Stanley, 
and on April 5, 1884, he claimed compensation for other 
injuries inflicted by the destruction of a German trading 
post at Nufa and of a Hamburg schooner. He further em- 
phasized these claims by sending the warship Hyane to the 
scene of trouble. 3 Altogether, his immediate, active re- 
sponse to the consular reports dealing with Germany's 
threatened commercial interests, as well as his unyielding 
and aggressive attitude towards England, could not fail to 
have an effect in winning approval throughout the country 
and in thus creating a far more sympathetic mood for the 
launching of an official colonial policy. 

It was in relation to African affairs, however, that the 
Chancellor pushed his policy to a climax; a climax, which 
in conjunction with the conditions in the South Seas, created 
an international crisis and caused an outburst of patriotic 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, pp. 75-76. 

2 Weissbuch, 1885, Pt- i, pp. 131-150. 

9 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 76. 


and national enthusiasm powerful enough to launch a state- 
directed colonialism. Fortunately for the success of Bis- 
marck's plans, England's policy could easily be made to ap- 
pear as monopolistic and selfish in Africa as in the South 
Seas, a fact which was most effective in influencing the 
German mind, for during the early eighties explorers were 
directing the eyes of all nations towards Africa as the 
continent which alone afforded great stretches of territory 
still unclaimed. 

We have already noted one instance of England's ex- 
clusive tendency in Africa, her Convention with France of 
June 1882, which aroused such resentment in German trad- 
ing circles and afforded Bismarck an opportunity to assist 
directly the Hanse merchants. 1 In line with the Anglo- 
French Convention, England concluded on February 26, 
1884, the Anglo- Portuguese Treaty, 2 which established a 
monopolistic control of the Congo River. This treaty met 
with letter and outspoken antagonism from German busi- 
ness interests. The Boards of Trade of Hamburg, Sol- 
lingen, Bremen and Mannheim sent protests to the Govern- 
ment, and the firms in Loanda dispatched representatives to 
Berlin in order to plead their cause. 3 The Society for Ger- 
man Colonization and the German-African Society pro- 
tested vehemently against the proposed customs duties in 
favor of Portugal and England and against the Anglo- 
Portuguese Commission on Navigation. 4 Patriotic excite- 
ment spread throughout Germany and an enraged public 
sentiment arose against England. To the popular mind, 
England appeared to wish to monopolize the control of all 

1 Cf. supra, p. 158. 

1 Hahri-Wippermann. op. cit., vol. v, p. 432. 

3 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 60. 

4 KolcnialgeseUschaft, pp. 36-37. 

j 65] THE TRIUMPH 1 65 

affairs in Africa. The Chancellor cleverly nursed the 
national resentment and turned it to his own account. He 
sent a protest against the Anglo- Portuguese Treaty to 
Portugal, April 18, 1884; 1 he repudiated any intention of 
accepting its terms ; and, at the same time, he instructed his 
ambassador in Paris to approach France with a proposal to 
unite the commercial interests of France and Germany in 
the Congo against England. 2 On April 24, 1884, he re- 
ceived a response wherein France promised her full sup- 
port. 3 France's cooperation in maintaining the principle 
of equality of trade in the Congo finally led to the calling 
of the Congo Conference on November 15, 1884. Thus 
Bismarck attempted to isolate England so far as her colon- 
ial aims in Africa were concerned; and he thereby en- 
couraged and increased the growing anti-English sentiment 
already very prevalent in Germany. 

Finally, to cap the climax, England's procrastination and 
pusillanimity in regard to her Southwest African claims 
supplied the Chancellor with an opportunity to crown his 
work with success. The story of England's and Germany's 
counter claims to Southwest Africa will bear repetition here 
in order to demonstrate Bismarck's subtlety, precaution and 
skill in cultivating anti-English sentiment and securing a 
public opinion in Germany favorable to a colonial policy. 
Shortly after Luderitz had applied for imperial protection 
in November, 1882, Bismarck had addressed a note to Eng- 
land on the subject (February 4, 1883). He couched it in 
very courteous terms and asked if England exercised any 
authority over the Angra-Pequena region. " If not, Ger- 
many intends to afford to her subjects in that region the 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, pp. 473-474. 
a Die Deutsche KolonialgeseUschaft, p. 32-33. 
* Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v. p. 474. 


protection which they need." x The note conveyed the im- 
pression, however, confirmed later by Secretary Paunce- 
fote's minute of his conversation with Count Herbert Bis- 
marck on the subject, that Germany " had not the least de- 
sign of establishing a foothold in Southwest Africa," and 
would prefer to leave the responsibility of protection to 
England. 3 

England replied to the note on February 23, 1883, that, 
' the Cape Colony Government has certain establishments 
along the coast, but without more precise information as to 
the exact location of Liideritz's factory, it is impossible for 
the British Government to say whether it could afford this 
protection in case of need." 3 

The reply was extremely evasive ; and it appeared all the 
more so, since England had already declared that this part 
of the coast was outside her jurisdiction. Indeed, when 
Bismarck had asked the British Government, on November 
4, 1880, to extend its protection to German missionaries in 
this region on an occasion of a native war, England had 
replied (November 29, 1880), "The British Government 
cannot accept responsibility for anything occurring outside 
of British territory, which includes only Whale Bay and its 
immediate region." 4 

England had further confirmed her attitude, in regard to 
the district, by instructions to the Governor of Cape Colony 
to consider the Orange River as the boundary to England's 
territory ; and he, in consequence, had refused to afford any 
protection to the missionaries settled beyond the river. 

All this former correspondence, which had definitely de- 

1 JVeissbuch, pt. i, p. 78. 

* British Sessional Papers, 1884-1885, vol. lvi, p. 100. 

1 Ibid., p. 93- 

4 Hahn-Wippermann, op. tit., vol. v, p. 10. j 

j6 7 j the triumph 167 

limited England's claims, had really made Bismarck's in- 
quiries of 1883 superfluous, as he himself admitted; and it 
also indicated that the Chancellor had made such polite 
inquiries merely from the motive of wishing to maintain 
Germany scrupulously in the right, should a complication 
with England arise, and of desiring to quiet any suspicion 
in England of Germany's actual plans. The Chancellor 
also clearly realized that his note might incite England to 
take active measures to block Germany; indeed it caused 
him no regret when she did so almost immediately. 

England proceeded to employ the time gained by her 
vague reply to Germany of February 23, 1883, by attempt- 
ing to make the Cape Government assert its claim to the 
territory beyond the Orange River. 1 Bismarck also im- 
proved the time, as we have already seen, by granting to 
Liideritz so definite a promise of imperial protection that he 
felt warranted in seizing the harbor of Angra-Pequena and 
the surrounding districts in April, 1883. 

Fortified by the news of Liideritz's definite settlements in 
Africa, the Chancellor realized that, because of his precau- 
tion and diplomacy, he had the best of England, whatever 
she did. He, therefore, sent the peremptory note of No- 
vember 12, 1883, asking once more if England claimed 
sovereignty over the bay of Angra-Pequena. 2 England 
vouchsafed no immediate reply; and Luderitz, certain of 
imperial support, was accordingly emboldened to announce 
publicy his acquisition (November 20, 1883) of a strip of 
coast extending from the Orange River to 26 south latitude 
and twenty miles inland. 3 England, aroused by Germany's 

1 British Sessional Papers, Correspondence, vol. lv, nos. 16, 17, 21, 24 
et seq. 

* Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. ir. 

* Ibid. Vide, also, British Sessional Papers, 1884-1885. vol. lvi, pp. 


action, immediately sent a note (November 22, 1883) 
stating, " that, although Her Majesty's Government has not 
proclaimed the Queen's sovereignty along the whole coast, 
but only at certain points, such as Whale Bay and Angra- 
Pequena Island, it considers that any claim for sovereignty 
or jurisdiction by a foreign Power between the southern 
point of Portuguese jurisdiction, 18 south latitude, and the 
frontier of Cape Colony would infringe upon its legitimate 
rights." 1 

England was now in exactly the position where Bismarck 
wished her to be, with respect to public opinion in Germany. 
To patriotic Germans she was the dog-in-the-manger. Bis- 
marck's reply of December 31, 1883, demanded by what 
right or title England could claim sovereignty over a ter- 
ritory formerly considered independent; and his note re- 
vealed a tone hitherto lacking in his communications. 2 He 
was sure of his ground and could afford to be defiant. 
Moreover, the German people now wanted him to be de- 
fiant, was Germany not the injured nation, in more respects 
than one? We need only to remember, in order to ap- 
preciate the full force of the Chancellor's diplomacy at this 
point, that its harsh tone synchronized with his ultimatum 
upon the Fijian claims and with his promise of vigorous 
action in the South Seas. 3 The cumulative effect of these 
clashes with England was tremendous in Germany. 

Indeed, from December, 1883, the thermometer of popu- 
lar indignation and national chauvinism steadily and rapidly 
rose until in April, 1884, it finally indicated a state of fever- 
ish excitement. For England sent no rq>ly to the note of 
December 31, 1883. and her procrasti nation aroused in Ger- 
many a resentful hatred — a hatred augmented by articles 

1 Hahn-Wippennann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 10. 

J Ibid., p. 12. 

3 Cf. supra, pp. 161, 163. 

169] THE TRIUMPH i69 

in the official press, 1 by the Chancellor's attitude towards 
Great Britain's aggressive interference with German trade 
in the South Seas, and by the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 
February, 1884. Bismarck realized that the crisis had ar- 
rived. He at once took advantage of the state of the popu- 
lar mind and by the telegram of April 24, 1884, 2 officially 
proclaimed Liideritz's settlements in Southwest Africa 
under the direct protection of the empire. With a bold 
stroke, the Chancellor had thus inaugurated a state-directed 
colonialism for Germany. 

The telegram of April 24, 1884, carried no national sanc- 
tion, except by implication. However, it would seem that, 
had Bismarck not been convinced his action would receive 
ratification and already possessed the hearty approval of a 
large majority of the German people, he would never have 
dared to take it. any more than he would have dared to 
carry through the Samoan Subsidy Bill in 1880 without sup- 
port. The consciousness of an entire change in the national 
mind, with which he had kept himself so closely in touch, 
would seem to have sustained him in his bold and independ- 
ent policy. Nevertheless, state-directed colonialism could 
not be termed an official imperial policy until it had received 
national ratification. To that final stage of the development 
of the colonial movement, during its period, of origin, the 
last chapter is devoted. 

1 Annates de I'ecole libre etc., January, 1888, loc. cit., p. 2; Kohtische 
Zt., Sept. 1883, nos. 9. 10. n, 12 (Fabri). 
3 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 13. 

National Inauguration of Colonialism 

The effort to secure national ratification of state-directed 
colonialism covered the entire year from April, 1884, to 
March, 1885. It was primarily a political struggle carried 
on in the Reichstag and in the country by the forces of the 
Government and the colonialists, now openly united. Un- 
like the preceding phase of the movement, the Government 
this time took the lead. The battle was bitterly contested ; 
and the distinctly limited colonial program adopted in 1885 
reflected the incompleteness of the victory. 

The central issue of the parliamentary struggle was the 
Steamship Subsidy Bill. This bill had had a long history. 
The plan for a steamship line to the East first came to 
Bismarck's attention as early as 1876. 1 He had not pro- 
moted it, however, until 1881, 2 when he aired it in the official 
press, requested the imperial representative in Hamburg to 
test opinion there about it, and made it a subject oi cor- 
respondence with Mosle. 3 Thwarted by the Reichstag's re- 
jection of his memorial on the subject in May. 188 1, he had 
temporarily abandoned the whole scheme, but he revived it 
in 1884, encouraged by the same stimulus of popular support 
which had impelled him to send the telegram to Liideritz. 
On March 23, 1884, Bismarck asked the Kaiser's permission 
to present the project. 4 He introduced it into the Bundesrat 
on April 23, and into the Reichstag on May 23. 

1 Poschinger, Bismarck als Volkswirt, vol. iii, p. xxix. 

2 Cf. supra, p. 155. 

* Poschinger. V olkswirtschaftliche Aktenstucke, p. 42. 
4 (bid., p. 154. 

170 [170 


The Steamship Subsidy Bill provided for : ( 1 ) steamship 
connections with eastern Asia through a main line to Hong 
Kong by way of Rotterdam. Antwerp, Naples, Port Said, 
Suez, Aden, Colombo and Singapore and through a branch 
line between Hong Kong and Yokohama by way of Shanghai 
and Korea; and (2) connections with Australia through a 
main line to Sydney, by way of Naples, Port Said, Suez, 
Aden, i\delaide. and Melbourne, and through a branch line 
from Sydney to Tonga and Samoa. The Government was 
to subsidize these lines for fifteen years with the sum of 
4,000,000 M. annually. 1 

It was pointed out by the Government that Germany 
possessed at the time only ten steamship lines to America, a 
freight line to East Africa, the Sloman line to East Africa, 
and the Woermann line to West Africa, all supported entirely 
by private means, except that the Government paid 300,000 
M. annually for mail service and that the eastern trade was 
not great enough to support steamship lines without state aid. 

The struggle over the bill began on June 2$, 1884, in the 
session of the Budget Commission to which the whole matter 
had been referred after its first reading in the Reichstag on 
June 14. So important did the Chancellor consider the 
issue that he personally appeared in a Reichstag committee 
for the first time since 1871. In answer to Hammacher's 
question whether the bill was connected with foreign policy, 
he replied that it stood in direct relation to it. He said, 
" The verdict which the Reichstag pronounces on the Steam- 
ship Subsidy Bill will be decisive for the colonial policy of 
the Government. The Reichstag's decision was against the 
Samoan Subsidy Bill and opposed to the wishes of the ad- 
ministration. Hence the Government has for a long time 
been thwarted." 2 

1 Anlagen des Deut. Reichstagcs, 1884, Aktenstuck no. in. 

2 Poschinger, Bismarck als Volkswirt, vol. ii, p. 183. Account of 
session of Budget Commission, June 23, 1884. 


Thus the Chancellor himself threw down the gauntlet; 
he clearly defined the issue. The bill was to constitute a 
test-case, just as the Samoa Subsidy Bill had done; but, this 
time, the national vote would signify either the rejection or 
the confirmation of an imperial state colonialism already 
adopted, instead of one merely proposed. 

From the outset, Bismarck appeared to be justified in his 
statement that, " It seems very likely that this first attempt 
since the Samoan affair to promote the overseas interests 
of the empire will meet with the favor of the Reichstag. 
The notes and telegrams expressing approval which are re- 
ceived almost daily from circles which 1 had no idea pos- 
sessed such a lively interest in the matter, bear witness to 
the fact." * 

The first organization to rush publicly to the Chancellor's 
aid was, of course, the Kolonialverein. On April 26, 1884, 
it passed a resolution approving the change of policy on the 
part of the Government which the Steamship Subsidy Bill 
indicated. Bismarck thanked the Society in a letter of May 
4, 1884, saying, " Even though I can hardly count on an 
immediate success for this present bill when I remember 
the Samoan affair and consider the prevailing tendencies in 
the Reichstag, still 1 consider it the duty of my administra- 
tion to endeavor to promote the national welfare in spite 
of the hostile attitude of the present Reklistag." 2 

Thus the hitherto silent partners, the administration and 
the Kolonialverein, openly acknowledged their close co- 
operation. Bismarck showed by the tone of the above letter 
what a tower of strength and support he expected the 
Kolonialverein to be to him in his fight with the refractory 
assembly. And indeed it proved so to be. It adopted 
further resolutions on June 28, 1884. thanking the Chan- 

1 Poschinger, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 183. 

2 Die Kolomalzeitung y 1884, vol. xi, p. 213. 


cellor for his famous colonial speeches of June 26. and urg- 
ing all to work for the success of the bill. The Society held 
a monster General Convention at Eisenach, on September 
21, 1884. which overwhelmingly indorsed the new policy of 
the Government and attempted to raise the whole issue above 
party politics to the national and patriotic sphere. The more 
the Reichstag blocked the Subsidy Bill, the longer grew the 
membership roll of the Kolonialvercm. 

Other organizations, likewise, rallied strongly to the sup- 
port of the Government, among them the powerful Central 
Association for Commercial Geography. Bahse, speaking 
at its meeting on May 8, 1884. said, " Trade has failed to 
keep pace with industry. . . . The hesitation of the Govern- 
ment in the Samoan affair played into the hands of 
England. ..." 

Politically, the Chancellor received expressions of sup- 
port not only from his allies in the Reichstag, the Conserva- 
tives and National Liberals, but also from groups through- 
out the country. Special committees of Conservatives and 
National Liberals formed to discuss the colonial issue ; the 
second Chamber of Baden passed a resolution on April 28, 
1884. urging the Government to adopt a definite colonial 
policy; 1 special petitions and resolutions came from the 
National Liberal Committee in Wiesbaden, from the Hessian 
Progressive Committee in Darmstadt, and from the Deutsch- 
Freisinnige Committee in Wiirzburg; while Dr. Stephan. the 
Imperial Postmaster General, produced any number of peti- 
tions in the Reichstag on June 14, when he introduced the 
Subsidy Bill and stated, " The press of almost all parties 
greets the project with favor, even the Democratische Cor- 
respondent." ' 

1 Die Deutsche Kolonialseituttg, 1884, p. 194. 

* Verhandhtngen des Deutschen Reichstages, June 14, 1884, pp. 720 
et seq. 


Most of the promises of support came naturally from 
the industrial and commercial world. The Society of Ger- 
man Jute Makers sent a letter to Bismarck on his birthday 
thanking him for his economic policies since 1879 ; x the 
citizens of Dortmund, the helmet makers of Dusseldorff , the 
ship-builders of Hamburg, and many Chambers of Com- 
merce, all committed themselves to the new policy in writ- 
ing. 2 In a telegram thanking the Dresden Chamber of 
Commerce, Bismarck said on June 28, 1884, " Other in- 
formation from all parts of Germany confirms my opinion 
that out people follow the lead of their own hearts and 
minds when it is a question of the empire's political and 
economic strength." 3 

The Government could count on the support of all the 
Conservatives, of most of the National Liberals, and of 
groups of Progressives and Deutsch-Fremnnige — all who 
were interested from a business standpoint — commercial 
colonialists, many industrials and merchants. It is not 
strange, then, that Bismarck assumed the tone revealed in 
his replies to the Kolonialvcrcin and the Dresden Chamber 
of Commerce. 

The other factor in the contest, the Opposition, remains to 
be estimated. Bamberger and Richter of the Deutsch- 
Fremnnige Partei appeared as the leaders of the doctrinaire 
group. They based their objections upon the same ground 
as that taken in the Samoan affair, namely, that the proposed 
steamship lines represented mercantile interests which in 
turn concealed colonial aims. Bamberger cited the fact that 
Postmaster General Stephan definitely stated in presenting 
the bill that it had no connection whatever with the colonial 

1 Poschinger, Bismarck als Volkswirt, vol. ii, p. 184, quoting Die 
Post, 1884, nos. 178, 184, 186. 

* Ibid., 1884, nos. 172, 343, 347. 

'Poschinger, Aktcnstiickc, p. 154. 


policy, whereas, Bismarck, when cornered in the Budget 
Commission, admitted the close relation of the two and out- 
lined a program of expansion. 1 They accused the Chan- 
cellor of misrepresenting his plans and his foreign policy and 
of failing to admit earlier the connection of subsidy bills with 
overseas expansion. They harped upon the danger of fric- 
tion with foreign Powers and illustrated the foolishness and 
futility of overseas possessions by references to the experi- 
ences of other countries. In all these arguments they were 
supported by the Socialists who, of course, held similar doc- 
trinaire, party convictions. 

A far more serious aspect of the Opposition, however, 
was its partisan character. A party spirit apparently actu- 
ated the Radicals as much if not more than their liberal doc- 
trines — a spirit of revenge and hatred of Bismarck and all 
his new policies, as well as of determination to contest his 
absolute control of foreign affairs. The same feeling of 
animosity attracted to the Radical Opposition all dissident 
elements, who merely seized the Subsidy Bill as something 
tangible upon which to fasten their antagonism to the Gov- 
ernment. Prominent among them was the Centre party, led 
by Wmdthorst, Bismarck's bitter enemy. Although the 
Centre party theoretically and practically believed in a mod- 
erate colonialism, it was still smarting from the Kultur- 
kampf; always posing as the party of economy, it resented 
the great expenditure required by the bill ; it was becoming 
aroused by the proposed anti-Polish policy ; and finally, under 
Windthorst's influence, it could not afford to lose this un- 
paralleled opportunity to combat the Chancellor. Hence, the 
Catholic party sacrificed conviction to partisanship and 
joined forces with the Radicals. As the Centre held the 
balance in the Reichstag in 1 884-1885 and could determine 
any issue by combining with the Right or the Left, it created 
a serious problem for the Government. 

1 Verhandlungen des Dentschen Reichstagcs, June 26, 1884, p. 1064. 


The Clerical-Radical Opposition employed two methods 
against the Government. First, it revived the practice, in 
which the Radicals had acquired considerable technique in 
the Samoan affair, of " throwing- mud " at their opponents. 
Richter condemned all who favored the bill as being finan- 
cially interested in it. Bamberger accused von Kiisserow 
of a direct business connection between the proposed sub- 
sidy and the recent purchase by a Berlin banking house of 
the shares of the Samoa-Hand els und Plantagcn Gcscll- 
schaft in the hands of Baring Brothers of London. He also 
pointed out that the recent formation of a Consortium to 
buy land in New Guinea was coincident with the proposal of 
the government subsidy for a South Pacific Steamship Line 
and that von Hansemann, director of the Diskonto Com- 
pany, and Ohlendorf. owner of the Norddeutsche Allege- 
mevnc Zcitung, were its promoters. " If these connections 
between the business interests and the Government really 
exist." said Bamberger, " the Subsidy Bill will appear in a 
clearer light, for then it will merely mean an additional 
support for the Samoan Company." Bamberger called upon 
von Kiisserow to explain the situation if he could. A per- 
sonal quarrel arose and a duel became imminent, but the 
principals settled the matter without recourse to such violent 
means. 1 

In the second place, the Radical-Clerical Opposition used 
" obstruction tactics " and carried them likewise to great ex- 
tremes. It prevented the second reading of the Steamslvp 
Subsidy Bill on June 14, 1884, and had the bill referred to 
the Budget Commission. Whereupon Windthorst, the chair- 
man, on June 23, postponed the next sitting of the Budget 
Commission to June 2j. The postponement precluded any 
further discussion of the bill, since the Reichstag session 

1 Poschinger, " Der Konflict Kusserow-Bamberger," Zeitschrift fur 
Kolonialpolitik, etc., May, 1908, p. 363. 


terminated on June 28, and thus afforded an opportunity to 
the hostile forces to strengthen themselves for the combat at 
the next session of the Reichstag in the autumn. The new 
Reichstag, elected on October 28, 1884, exhibited little ap- 
preciable change in the balance of the parties; although 
whatever variation did occur was favorable to the Govern- 
ment in relation to the colonial issue. 

Conserv. D. Conierv. Centre Nat. Libs. Dent. Freisinnige Socialist 

1881 50 28 99 45 114 12 

1884 78 30 IOO 50 74 24 ! 

The figures show that the Radicals suffered a heavy loss, 
in spite of the one hundred per cent gain of the Socialists. 
The election gave Bismarck two more colonialists as sup- 
porters, one of whom was Woermann, the powerful National 
Liberal merchant. The Centre, however, maintained its 
commanding position and hence the political situation re- 
mained unchanged. When the new Reichstag met, there- 
fore, its disposition, as determined by the sarnie Clerical- 
Radical majority, was for war against the Chancellor. Bis- 
marck was further handicapped by the necessity of pre- 
senting a huge budget which showed a large deficit and 
which naturally provided the Opposition with a weapon 
against him. Again the Radical-Clericals succeeded, upon 
the first reading of the new Subsidy Bill, in having it re- 
ferred to the Budget Commission. The Commission con- 
sisted of six Centrists, four Freisinnige, two Socialists, three 
National Liberals, four Conservatives, and two Deutsch 
Conservatives, a majority of twelve to nine against the bill, 
which meant its certain death. 1 Moreover, the opponents 
decided upon a general obstruction policy further to em- 
barrass the Chancellor. They blocked every measure pro- 

1 Rehm, Deutschlands Politische Parteien (Jena, 1912), p. 85. 

2 Europaische Geschichtskalendar, 1884, p. 130. 


posed by him and created, in the autumn of 1884, an abso- 
lute parliamentary deadlock. 

Such was the character of the Opposition which Bismarck 
had to face : the doctrinaire Liberal-Radicals, plus all cautious 
citizens who traditionally opposed expense, risk and any de- 
parture from the beaten path, and the far more dangerous 
parliamentary and partisan enemies represented by the 
Clerical-Radical majority, supplemented by discontented and 
dissident nationalist groups who were traditional foes of the 
Chancellor. Indeed, the situation presented a splendid op- 
portunity for the Chancellor to display his best powers ; and 
he rose to the occasion with his characteristic cleverness. 

We can distinguish three definite stratagems in Bismarck's 
campaign, diligently and untiringly waged against the parlia- 
mentary Opposition, from April, 1884, to March, 1885. In 
the first place, the Chancellor and the colonial party pro- 
ceeded with startling rapidity to execute plans of colonial 
settlement. They wished to be able to point to a colonial 
empire already in the making. On May 19. 1884, Bismarck 
sent official orders to Dr. Nachtigal, whom he had already 
appointed Consul to the West Coast of Africa (April 17, 
1884), to place certain districts under imperial protection, 
namely, Angra-Pequena with an extension of its original 
boundaries, the strip between the Niger Delta and Gabun, es- 
pecially that part opposite the Island of Fernando Po in 
Biafra Bay. and Little Popo in Togoland. 1 Dr. Nachtigal 
obeyed the orders with the utmost speed and Bismarck an- 
nounced on October 13, 1884, that the districts named were 
under German protection. 2 On October 1, the Chancellor 
appointed Dr. Rohlfs, Consul for East Africa, and extended 
imperial protection, on February 7, 1885, to all lands ac- 
quired by the Society for German Colonization. 3 The Gov- 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 24. 

3 Ibid., pp. 36-37. 'Ibid., pp. 163-165. 


ernment also made an unsuccessful effort to secure through 
diplomacy the Island of Fernando Po from Spain. In the 
South Seas, activity was even more strenuous. On May 13, 
a German Consortium, founded in Hamburg, bought the 
shares of the Samoa Handels and Plantagcn Gesellschaft, 
until then in English possession, and established an Overseas 
Bank. 1 On August 20, the Chancellor notified Bleichroder 
and von Hansemann that all their settlements would be placed 
under the sarnie imperial protection as that afforded South- 
west Africa, as soon as they should be freed from the claims 
of other powers. 2 And on December 23, 1884, Bismarck 
notified the Powers that German imperial protection had been 
extended to settlements on the North Coast of the New 
Britain archipelago. 3 Thus the nucleus of a very respectable 
colonial empire was acquired in an astonishingly brief space 
of time. The actual existence of such an embryonic over- 
seas Germany proved a potent weapon in the Chancellor's 
hand when it came to his final struggle with his refractory, 
obstructionist Reichstag. 

The vigorous prosecution of overseas expansion required 
some explanation from the Government. In fact the Op- 
position vehemently demanded such a statement of purpose 
and plan at the very outset. The manner in which Bismarck 
responded to the demand constitutes his second stratagem in 
defeating the parliamentary Opposition. He diplomatically 
presented his program bit by bit. He gradually evolved it 
throughout the year and he did not attempt to force through 
an inflexible, determined policy, which would have afforded 
opportunity for greater resistance and would have jeopard- 
ized his entire plan. The Chancellor anticipated that he 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 77. 

8 Ibid., p. 80. ; 

8 Ibid., p. 81. 


would be called upon to define and delimit the new colonial 
policy as soon as it was launched and consequently he gave 
the matter careful attention. He instructed von Kiisserow 
to draw up a program for colonization, and that official duly 
presented one to the Chancellor on April 8, 1884. Von 
Kiisserow's plan provided for the extension of the same 
governmental protection to the commercial colonialists as 
was implied by the Royal Charters of England, but not for 
the acquisition of territory directly by the state. It left all 
responsibility to the merchants and involved for the empire 
" no expense except for warships and consuls." x On April 
28, 1884, Bismarck elaborated von Kiisserow's scheme at 
a meeting of merchants attended by von Kiisserow, Woer- 
mann, Dyes of Bremen, and Liideritz. The Chancellor 
summed up his opinion as follows : " The German Empire 
cannot carry on a system of colonization like France's. It 
cannot send out warships to conquer overseas lands, that is. 
it will not take the initiative; but it will protect the German 
merchant even in the land zvhich he acquires. Germany 
will do what England has always done, establish Chartered 
Companies, so that the responsibility entirely rests with 
them." 2 

The definition and limitation of Germany's new policy 
laid down by the Chancellor, in close cooperation with the 
commercial colonialists, first found public expression when 
the Chancellor expounded it in the Budget Commission on 
June 23, 1884. 3 And on June 26, in the Reichstag, Bismarck 
skilfully met the objections of Richter that a colonial policy 
would involve expense and naval power and would precipitate 
wars, by falling back upon his apparently cautious and un- 

1 Zimmermann, op. cit., p. 64. 

* Herrfurtli, " Bismarck als Kolonialpolitiker," Zeitschrift fur Kolo- 
nialpolitik etc., 1909, p. 736. 

8 Halin-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 42. 


ambitious program which repudiated all conscious creation 
of colonies : " I would follow the example of England in 
granting to these merchants something like Royal Charters. 
... I do not wish to found provinces, but to protect com- 
mercial establishments in their own development. . . . We 
hope that the tree will flourish in proportion to the ac- 
tivity of the gardener, but if it does not, the whole respon- 
sibility rests with him and not with the empire, which will 
lose nothing." 1 

The Chancellor made his task of dealing with the Opposi- 
tion much easier by adopting a limited colonial program at 
the very outset, rather than by insisting upon the immedi- 
ate imperial annexation of territory. Very likely also, at 
this stage, Bismarck was convinced of the unwisdom, from 
an international viewpoint, of embarking at once upon any 
vigorous policy. There are many indications, however, that 
as the struggle progressed, and as he grew more and more 
confident of ultimate success in winning national support, he 
expanded his first unpretentious and unassuming plan. Early 
in 1885, we find him no longer talking merely about the 
empire's duty to protect commercial settlements, with all 
responsibility relegated to merchants, but about the value o<f 
colonies for their own sake. Indeed, he began to stress their 
economic aspect and he prophesied the greatest national 
benefit therefrom. He thought that Germany should be 
made economically independent. " Colonies would mean the 
winning of new markets for German industry, the expansion 
of trade, and a new field for German activity, civilization 
and capital," 2 he said, and also, " Consider what it would 
mean if part of the cotton and the coffee which we must 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 24. 

2 Verhandlungen des Deutschen Rckhstages, March 16, 1885, p. 1864. 
Vide, also, ibid., Jarmary 10, 1885, p. 524, and' June 26, 1884, p. 1073. 


import could be grown on German territory overseas. 
Would that not bring an increase of national wealth? " 1 

To sum up, Bismarck never set forth a complete and 
exact colonial program but administered it in homeopathic 
doses. As he himself remarked, " We have not evolved a 
fully developed colonial system, which like Minerva sprang 
from the head of Jove and appeared full grown at once, but 
we have allowed it to develop and shape itself." The Chan- 
cellor preferred to present a flexible program which, on the 
one hand, would be vague and elastic enough to escape the 
explicit criticism of the Opposition, and. on the other, would 
be susceptible to change and addition as opportunity offered. 
As Fabri expressed it, " Bismarck limited his program of 
colonial policy to individual experiments without any initia- 
tive on the part of the government. This quieted suspicion 
and criticism and the responsibility appeared much less." 

Nevertheless, despite the rapidity of achievement in actu- 
ally establishing a colonial empire and the dexterity with 
which he introduced a colonial program, Bismarck found 
himself well nigh hopelessly blocked by the Parliamentary 
Opposition. One more way of overcoming his enemies re- 
mained — that of inciting a national patriotic enthusiasm for 
colonies, an enthusiasm great enough to submerge their ob- 
jections; and to this never failing stratagem the Chancellor 
finallv had recourse. He was, as we have alreadv seen, a 
consummate master in swaying popular sentiment and he 
now put forth his best efforts. His plan was to stir up 
German ire against England for her attempts to block Ger- 
many in the colonial field. Thus he would win to his side 
and to the side of German colonization all his patriotic 

1 / 'erhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstages. March 13, 1885, pp. 1800 
et seq. 

'Fabri, Ftinf Jahre Deutsche)- Kolonialpolitik (Gotha, 1889), P- *5- 


countrymen, while he would be able to brand the Opposition 
as unpatriotic and pro-British. Moreover, so great was the 
pressing need of winning popular support against the Reich- 
stag that he no longer felt the necessity of following that 
path of impeccable scrupulousness which he had hitherto pur- 
sued in his dealings with England. He would stoop to 
sharp practices to gain his ends. He attempted both to ex- 
clude Great Britain from various colonial areas, and. at the 
same time, to delude his own nation with the idea that Great 
Britain w r as monopolistically crowding Germany out of those 
very districts. 

The Chancellor began his campaign by reciting in the 
Budget Commission, on June 23, 1884, the whole story of 
England's shabby treatment of Germany in the Angra 
Pequena affair ; he pointed out that England had never re- 
plied to his note of December, 1883, and had only just re- 
cognized on the previous day (June 22) Germany's claims 
in Southwest Africa. 1 The recital was an attempt to arouse 
sympathy for his policy from the Opposition, but it failed 
completely. The Chancellor, enraged by the stubborn parti- 
san animosity of his opponents, openly declared war. ' I 
am diplomat enough to understand this policy of obstruction 
and I do not say ' Good-bye ' to the Subsidy Bill, but only 
e Anf Wiedersehn \ 2 . . . The administration will employ 
the interval before the next session in securing the approval 
of the new Reichstag for the bill." 3 

In executing his threat Bismarck strained every nerve to 
influence public opinion, and left no stone unturned in order 
to outstrip England in the coloial game, as well as to stir up 
feeling against her in Germany. In fact, he anticipated this 

1 Cf. supra, p. 168, note 2. 

s Ver hand lung en des Deutschen Reichstages, June 26, 1884, p. 1062. 
3 Poschinger, Bismarck als Volkswirt, vol. ii, p. 188, letter to Cham- 
ber of Commerce at Freiburg. 


policy in April when he sent forth Dr. Nachtigal with in- 
structions to place under imperial protection the territory in 
West Africa. At the same time he notified England that, 
" Nachtigal goes to Africa merely to verify information 
about the state of German commerce in that region." * al- 
though the Kolnische Zeiiung made no^ secret of announcing 
his purpose of annexation, confirmed later by the German 
protectorate which was formally established in West Africa 
in July. Again, as if to secure allies for Germany at Cape 
Colony, the Chancellor arranged a Convention between Ger- 
many and the Transvaal. He also received delegates from 
the Transvaal at Berlin on July 8, 1884, gave them a special 
audience with the Emperor and feted and petted them so as to 
imbue them with a preference for German Kultiir and a fear 
of Great Britain's monopolistic designs. 2 Likewise in the 
South Seas, Bismarck, on the one hand, openly sought and 
gained the cooperation of England in securing a joint com- 
mission to settle the extension of either nation's claims in 
New Guinea, 3 while, on the other hand, he secretly promised 
imperial protection to lands acquired by the New Guinea 
Company and even, on August 19, suggested the raising of 
the German flag over areas in New Britain and New Guinea. 4 
In reply, England, urged on by the incessant demands of 
her Australian colonies, who were always in terror of Ger- 
man expansion, annexed New Guinea on September 19, with 
the exception of a part of the North Coast. Bismarck's 
protest that England's act was contrary to the agreement, 
forced Lord Granville, on October 2, to limit the English 
annexation to the South Coast, " if all other claims are left 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 24. 

2 Annual Register, 1884, p. 299. 

3 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 80, 81. 
* Ibid., p. 80. 


to negotiation." Bismarck interpreting this stipulation to 
read, " Germany could make acquisitions but England was 
debarred therefrom," proceeded to appropriate officially the 
North Coast of New Guinea and the islands in the New- 
Britain archipelago. 

Furthermore, the Chancellor directed hh foreign policy 
with the purpose of arousing national animosity against 
England : he isolated her in her Egyptian schemes by drawing 
closer and closer to France. He had already forged a link 
with France by their rapprochement on the Congo question. 
The despatch which he prepared on May 5, 1884, for trans- 
mission to England, proves that his policy was deliberate : 
he stated therein that England could be very useful in help- 
ing Germany in her new colonial policy, in return for which 
service, Germany would support England in Egypt ; but, on 
the other hand, if England's help should prove unsatisfactory 
or insufficient, he would approach France. 1 The despatch, 
though never sent, was remarkable as showing the import- 
ance which the Chancellor attached to his colonial policy. 
Bismarck evidently deemed it more profitable, in view of 
England's unfavorable attitude in Africa, to associate him- 
self with France and to use England as a red rag to incite 
German public opinion in favor of colonies. In pursuance 
of this policy, therefore, he pushed the plans for the calling 
of an International Congress ; and many notes on the subject 
passed between Germany and France indicating an har- 
monious understanding between them. Finally, on October 
2, 1884, France notified Germany of her complete agreement 
with the latter s arrangements and the German Government 
issued the invitations for the Congo Congress, on October 
6, 1884. 

When the new Reichstag opened in November, 1884, 
Bismarck apparently felt very confident of the success of 

1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 88. 


his summer's efforts in shaping public opinion ; he amended 
the Steamship Subsidy Bill by adding another line to Africa, 
which would raise the annual state subsidy from 4,000.000 
M. to 5,400,000 M., and he publicly indicted the Clerical- 
Radical majority for hindering national progress. 

The Opposition, all along, had placed themselves in that 
extremely disadvantageous position where they could be as- 
sailed as unpatriotic. Bismarck had branded them as 
cowards in June, when they had argued that a colonial policy 
would precipitate a war with the Great Powers. Referring 
to Bamberger's speech, at that time. Bismarck had said, 
" His entire argument bore the stamp of submission if not 
of cowardice towards Europe, and the words of the Chan- 
cellor in 1866 ' that fear found no echo in German hearts '. 
would no longer find any response in these political 
factions." * 

Bismarck did not spare the factions in any way but strove 
to arouse the indignation of the whole nation against them 
on the ground that they were trying to overthrow the Gov- 
ernment and to control foreign policy contrary to the inter- 
ests of national honor. He said in November, 1884: " You 
say you will not be*coerced by the Bundesrat. I say that I 
will not be coerced by a Reichstag majority. Indeed I have 
never allowed myself to be coerced even by Europe. You 
are not the first who have tried it. . . . Your parties are 
fighting for control in state and empire. We are in control 
of the Government for our Kaiser and you are attempting 
to overthrow us. . . . You do not oppose these bills because 
you disapprove of them, but because the Government is not 
in your hands. It will then be a battle for supremacy, one 
fighting for the Kaiser, another for ecclesiastical control, and 
another for himself. 2 

1 Verhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstages, Jun-e 26, 1884. 

2 Verhandlungen des Dent. Reichstages, Nov. 26, pp. 32 et seq. 


Naturally, the effect of this attack upon the Opposition 
was to aggravate their antagonism towards Bismarck. They 
decided to pay him back in his own coin. Hence they not 
only blocked the Subsidy Bill, but cut down the proposed 
appropriation for the exploration of Africa from 150,000 M. 
to 50,000 M. Their hostility was thorough -going and 
petty. They opposed the smallest measure favored by the 
Government; they rejected even an appropriation of 2700 M. 
for extra clerks in the Chancellor's office, and one of 20,000 
M. for a second Director in the Foreign Office; and they 
defeated any increase of the consulate in Africa. 1 They 
made a fatal mistake, however, in carrying obstruction so 
far. In their contemptuous treatment of Bismarck, they 
gained for him the sympathy and support of an undoubted 
majority of the German people. Expressions of confidence 
began to pour in upon the Chancellor from all parts of the 
empire, accompanied by offers of personal subscriptions to 
the amount required to finance a second Director in the 
Foreign Office. 

The Chancellor now realized as never before the force of 
public opinion which could transcend the Reichstag, and he 
resolved to rally every factor of it which he could muster to 
defeat his intolerable political opponents and force through 
his colonial policy. He perceived that he could count on the 
righteous indignation of those who, whatever opinions they 
might entertain on the value of a colonial policy, were unani- 
mous in condemning the petty, irritating attacks against the 
" Founder of the Empire." Happily for Bismarck, coin- 
cident with the parliamentary deadlock, came the news, on 
December 23, that the German flag waved over parts of New 
Ireland, New Britain, and New Guinea. Moreover, the 
Congo Congress had commenced its sessions in Berlin on 
November 15, at Bismarck's invitation and under his guid- 

1 Enrop'discher Geschichtskalender, 1884, pp. 135, 136. 


ance, to discuss questions of international colonial policy, 
which, by implication at any rate, aligned Germany with the 
great national, colonizing Powers. Could the " Honor of 
the Fatherland " afford to permit its own and its Chancellor's 
prestige to be tarnished or the external influence of Germany 
to be jeopardized by the disgraceful repudiation of the 
national colonial policy in the Reichstag? No, the empire 
was entertaining prominent guests ; it must discipline its re- 
fractory children into a semblance of family unity. 

Fully appreciating the significance of all the elements in 
the situation which he had himself created Bismarck pro- 
ceeded openly and directly to apply the torch of patriotic 
fire — anti-English sentiment. The Chancellor initiated an 
entirely new and unwonted policy for Germany; he pub- 
lished a series of White Books, all of which attempted to 
show the unjust treatment sustained by Germany at the 
hands of England. The first three books appeared during 
the height of the parliamentary crisis, on December 4, 12 
and 13, and dealt respectively with the Congo District and 
Biafra Bay, Angra-Pequena and Samoa. To the German 
people, they not only showed the stupendous difficulties which 
Bismarck had encountered in his dealings with England, 
but also proved that England had been obliged to retreat 
before his superior diplomacy. 1 

To supplement the effect of the White Books, events 
played into the Chancellor's hands at the beginning of the 
year 1885. The news then reached Germany that the first 
German blood had been shed for the cause of colonial rights, 
that disturbances had broken out between the natives and 
the Germans in Kamerun, and that King Old Bell Town 
and Hickory Town had been burnt on December 20. 2 The 

1 IVeissbuih, 1885, pts. i, ii, iii. 

* Euro pais chcr Gcschichtskalender, 1884, p. 438. 


Chancellor immediately seized the opportunity to accuse the 
English of inciting the natives against Germany, as a means 
of dislodging her from Kameroon. He produced not a 
particle of real proof to support his accusations. However, 
he presented as evidence a report which he claimed to have 
received on November 24, 1884, from the Hamburg Syndi- 
cate, complaining of the actions of representatives of the 
English firm of J. Holt and Company, and of Buchanan, 
the British Vice Consul, in stirring up the war. 1 Bismarck 
further supported the illusion of England's aggression by 
sending a note to England demanding Buchanan's dis- 
missal 2 and by reviving the quarrel with England over the 
New Guinea question, since after Germany's annexations, 
announced on December 23, 1884, England had resumed her 
liberty of action and annexed what was left of New Guinea. 3, 
Furthermore, the Chancellor personally attacked Malet, the 
English Ambassador in Berlin, for England's colonial greedi- 
ness. Perhaps the report of their conversation will illumin- 
ate the situation and prove Bismarck's pre-determined plan 
to quarrel with England and thus to arouse national ill-will 
against her. In the report, Malet told how the Chancellor 
had accused England of unparalleled egotism in claiming all 
the territory in Africa which other powers had not appro- 
priated, and how he had administered a severe rebuke, say- 
ing that he had the feeling that England was not treating 
Germany as an equal. He was so vehement in his charges 
that Malet begged him to state definitely what he wanted. 
Malet said : " Was it parts o>f New Guinea which we had 
annexed? Was it Zululand? I thought that a knowledge 
of his wishes, whatever they might be, would be better than 

1 Verhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstages, Jan. 10, 1885, pp. 525 
et seq. 
1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 29. 
8 Ibid., pp. 86-87. 


our acting in the dark and consequently colliding with each 
other. Bismarck replied, however, that his understanding 
with France placed it beyond his power to come to any such 
understanding with England, so long as England had re- 
jected his offer of cooperation of May 5, 1884." x 

The despatch of May 5, 1884, containing the offer of co- 
operation, had, as we have already learned, never been sent 
to England; it had been countermanded by Bismarck him- 
self. As Gladstone said in the House of Commons, March 
12, 1885 : " I regret that the Chancellor Bismarck's despatch 
of May 5. 1884, was never sent. ... If the despatch had 
been communicated to this country, it would have attracted 
all the attention and have received all the friendly consider- 
ation which it would well have deserved." 2 

Indeed, Bismarck lost all restraint in his quarrel with 
England. He published two more White Books, one on the 
South Seas, February 6, 1885, and one on Fiji. January 19, 
1885 ; 3 he attacked England in both the Bundcsrat and the 
Reichstag, and he employed every means to discredit her 
colonial designs and to justify those of Germany. He was 
later forced to modify his position somewhat, because his 
attacks reacted against hiirm. The Opposition cited his quar- 
rel with England as an illustration of their major objection 
that a colonial policy would lead inevitably to friction with 
neighbor nations and surround Germany with enemies. He 
then attempted cleverly to shift the responsibility for Ger- 
many's ill treatment from the English Government to her 
agents and (merchants; and he asserted, all the while that 
he was condemning her, that Great Britain and Germany 
were on the best of terms. " The colonial net of England 


1 Hahn-Wippermann, op. cit., vol. v, p. 89. Cf., also, supra, p. 185. 

1 Hansard, vol. ccxcv, March 12, 1885, p. 978. 

3 Europaischer Geschichtskalender, January 19, February 6, 1885. 


is SO' all-embracing that it is well nigh impossible for her to 
supervise the actions of all her agents." 1 . . . '* We are not 
surrounded by enemies. We are on good terms with Great 
Britain. But it is not to be wondered at that when her 
cousins, the land rats, take to the water, she is surprised, asi 
she believes that ' Britannia Rules the Waves.' " 2 

The Chancellor repeated to the National Assembly Glad- 
stone's remark, " If Germany becomes a colonial power, I 
wish her God-speed," and then he commented, " Has Glad- 
stone more love and understanding of the German nation 
than Windthorst ? " 3 

Bismarck's campaign of inciting German resentment 
against England could not fail to bear results. England, 
finally aroused to Germany's real purposes and colonial plans, 
began to checkmate her m every direction and to frustrate all 
of her designs. Her actions succeeded in imparting a reality 
to the illusion of rivalry and competition so carefully created 
by the Chancellor. Indeed, after January 10, 1885, the tide 
of opposition in Germany began to turn. The elements of 
hostility to the Chancellor were forced to bend before the 
pressure of a popular indignation, raised to white heat by 
the patriotic fervor which swept the country. On January 
10, the parliamentary Opposition began to weaken; it con- 
sented to an appropriation of 150,000 M. for ships to be 
placed at the disposal o<f the Governor of Kamerun; on 
January 23, it voted for the proposed sum for African ex- 
ploration and on March 2, appropriated 150,000 M. for the 
extension of the consular service in the overseas territory.* 
All parties except the Poles and the Democrats supported 

1 Verhandhingen des Deutschen Reichstages, Jan. 19, 1885, p. 525. 

2 Ibid., pp. 532 et seq. 

s Ibid., March 14, 1885, p. 1825. 

4 Europ'discher Geschichtskalender, January 10, 23, March 2, 1885. 


the Chancellor. Even the speakers of the Centre assured 
Bismarck that the majority of the Reichstag would never be 
found wanting when it was a question of defending the 
honor and prestige of the empire, and that the Catholic party 
would find it possible to agree thoroughly with the Chan- 
cellor's colonial plans if they provided for a well balanced 
and not a merely commercial colonial policy. These vic- 
tories were interpreted as signs that a large majority of the 
people were in favor of colonization and all opposition was 
gradually withdrawn. On March 13, 1885, Bismarck made 
his famous patriotic speech wherein he stated that a new spirit 
was now actuating the German people, that he had at last 
found the " popular support " which he had demanded nine 
years before as indispensable to the execution of any colonial 
policy. 1 

Finally, on March 23, 1885, the Steamship Subsidy Bill 
passed the Reichstag with a large majority. A part of the 
Deutsch-Frcisinnigc and the Centre, the Social Democrats 
and the Poles alone voted against it. Bismarck could well 
indulge on April 1, 1885, in a glorious celebration of his 
seventieth birthday and of the twentieth anniversary of his 
chancellorship. He received, as an added token of confid- 
ence, a gift of more than 2,000,000 M. from his devoted 

National inauguration of colonialism had been a difficult 
struggle. At last, the colonial party and the Government 
had triumphed. Concentration upon the passage of the 
Steamship Subsidy Bill had overthrown the Opposition ; 
while the vigorous construction of a small colonial empire, 
the close cooperation of administration and merchants and 
the skillful promulgation of a colonial program had all united 
to achieve national ratification of state-directed colonialism. 

1 Verhandlungen des Deutschen Reichstages, March 13, 1885, p. 1801. 


Above everything else, in its ultimate effect, had been the 
fire of chauvinistic patriotisms, so carefully prepared, lighted 
and kept alive by Bismarck; it had reduced the Opposition 
to silence or consent and had completely destroyed the last 
obstacles to the adoption of a national colonial policy. 


Our research has revealed the two dominating influences 
responsible for modern German colonialism — the economic 
class in Germany, and Bismarck. 

Throughout the entire period, merchants and traders both 
pushed and led the movement; business interests and oppor- 
tunities rendered circumstances conducive to its progress. 
The Hanse merchants first began commercial colonialism; 
they converted colonial theory into colonial practice. They 
alone brought sufficient pressure upon the Government to 
secure protection for overseas enterprises and they formed 
the colonial party, whose vanguard first proposed a national 
colonial policy during the debates over the Samoan treaty. 
Economic appeals and arguments were most potent in the 
mass of colonial propaganda which appeared in 1879. Busi- 
ness men acquired such power over the Government as to in- 
volve it financially in colonial enterprises that precipitated the 
crisis of 1880 and the subsequent publicity and discussion of 
the entire subject. Business men were the leading spirits in 
the formation of the Koloniulverein and promoted, above 
every other element, the struggle from 1881 to 1885. More- 
over, economic forces created the crisis in the business world 
which demanded expansion for markets and capital ; eco- 
nomic forces occasioned the huge emigration ; they produced 
a social unrest that impelled the Chancellor to distract 
popular attention by overseas projects; and finally they in- 
fluenced Bismarck to turn from free-trade to protection and 
decided his consequent espousal of the colonial cause. 
194 [194 


As for Bismarck, himself, the study has attempted to 
contradict the prevailing opinion that the Chancellor opposed 
colonialism until 1883 and that he was then reluctantly forced 
into it by the efforts of the merchant class. He was, on 
the contrary, in hearty if cautious sympathy with the move- 
ment from the year 1876; and he grew more and more its 
advocate through the reversal of his economic policy from 
free-trade to protection. His attitude was wholly consonant 
with his final repudiation of liberalism and his return to 
conservatism in 1879. All the evidence, as we read it, clearly 
proves that when the Chancellor appeared to oppose colonial- 
ism he was merely applying the brakes as a diplomatic 
stratagem, that he was, at the same time, feeding fuel to the 
engine, and that he gave his whole-hearted, if secret, support 
to the movement from 1879 onwards. Bismarck's one 
over-ruling purpose and aim, it is true, was to establish the 
hegemony of Germany in Europe; but instead of colonial- 
ism clashing with that object, as it has been the custom, 1 to 
assert, it became essentially subordinated to it. After found- 
ing the empire, the Chancellor came^to p erceive that in o rder 
to secure and maintain apposition of supremacy, Germany 
too must enter the new gatrnle of imperialistic colonialism. 
Without overseas ^expansion^ Germany could not hope to 
compete with the other nations or attain her great ideal. 

The study has further shown that the circumstances of its 
origins stamped modern German colonialism with its salient 
characteristics. Briefly, they were : the limitation at first of 
all colonial activity to individual initiative, the slow growth 
of administrative effort and control, not completely estab- 
lished until the year 1906, the enduring connection of the 
colonial question with political and partisan opposition, and, 
finally, the over-emphasis upon the economic motives for 
colonization which contributed to the excessive influence of 


" big business " in national affairs and the resulting disas- 
trous economic imperialism. 

The first chapter of modern German colonialism closes 
with the year 1885. It leaves colonial policy in control of 
the dominating forces of its origin, the economic class sup- 
ported by the Government. It thus forms a logical intro- 
duction to the second chapter, the period of the Commercial 
Companies, to whom Bismarck intrusted the foundation of 
the German colonial empire. 



Brose, M., Die Deutsch Kolonialliteratur. Zeitschrift fur Kolomal- 
politik, Kolonialrecht und Kolonialwirtschaft. Sonder Heft. Ber- 
lin, 1905. 

Descharmes, P., La Colonisation allemande. Societe des etudes his- 
toriques.. .Bibliotheques bibliographies critiques, no. 9. 

Des Deutschen Reiches Kolonialliteratur der letzten sehn Jahre. Niinv- 
berg, 1891. 

Sembritzki, E., Der Kolonialfreund: Kritischer Fiihrer durch die volks- 
stumliche deutsche Literatur. Berlin, 1912. 

Primary Sources 

Documents and Official Records 

Anlagen des Reichstages des Norddeutschen Bundes. 

Anlagen des Deutschen Reichstages. 

Annalen des Deutschen Reiches fiir Gesetzgebung, Verwaltung und 

Vo Ikswirtsch aft. 
British and Foreign State Papers. 
British Sessional Papers. 

Deutsch Kolonialausstellung : Deutschland und seine Kolonieen. Ber- 
lin, 1896. 
Executive Documents of the House of Representatives of the United 

States for the Second Session of the Forty-fourth Congress. 

Hahn-Wippermann, Filrst Bismarck, Sammlung der Reden, Depechen, 

Staatsschriften und politischen Brief en. 5 vols. Berlin, 1878-1891. 

Das Reichsgesetzblatt. 
Stenographische Berichte iiber die Verhandlungen des Reichstages des 

Norddeutschen Bundes. 
Stenographische Berichte iiber die Verhandlungen des Deutschen 


Publications of Societies and Organizations 

Abhandlungen des Hamburgische Kolonialinstituts seit 1910. 

197] 197 


Bremische Biographic des neunzchnten Jahrhunderts: Herausgegeben 
von der Bremische Geschichsgesellschaft. Bremen, 1912. 

Die Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft, im Auftrage des Ausschlusses der 
1882-1907 Deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft dagestellt. Berlin, 1908. 

Die Deutsche Kolonialzeitung, 1884. Organ 1 of Kolonialverein. 

Die Diskonto Gcsellschaft: Denkschrift sum 50 Jdhrigen Jubilaum 
1851-1891. Hamburg, 1901. 

Deutsches Handelsarchiv. Zeitschrift fur Handels und Gewerbe. Ber- 
lin, 1880. 

Geographische Nachrichten fur Welthandels Geographic, 1880. 

Handelspolitische Brochuren. Hamburg, 1876-1879. 

Volkswirtschaftliche Zeitfragen: Herausgegeben von der Volksufirt- 
schaftlichen Gesellschaft in Berlin. 1880. 

Zeitschrift fur Kolonialpolitik, Kolonialrecht und Koloniahvirtschaft 
nvit Beitrage zur Kolonialpolitik: Herausgegeben von der Deutschen 

Secondary Sources 

Andrillon, H., L'Expansion allemande. Paris, 1914. 

Barth, C, Die von 1865-1895 Fortschritten der Kentnisse. Stuttgart. 

Brauer, Marks, von Miiller, Eninerungcn an Bismarck. Stuttgart, 1915- 
Blum, Hans, Das Deutsche Reich zur Zeit Bismarck's. 1893. 
Buchner, M., Aurora Colonialis. 1884. 
Charpentier, Entwickelungsgeschichte dry Kolonialpolitik des Deutschen 

Reiches. Berlin, 1886. 
Cheradame, A., La Colonisation et les colonies allcmandes. Paris, 1005. 
Coppius, A., Hamburgs Bedeutung auf dent Gcbiete der deutschen 

Kolonialpolitik. A doctor's thesis. Berlin, 1905. 
Couget, B., Les Colonies allcmandes avant et pendant la guerre. Paris, 

1 9 16. 
Crose, American Samoa, A General Report by the Governor. Wash- 
ington, 1913. 
Dawson, W. H., The German Empire, 1867-1914. 2 vols. London, 1919. 
Dehn, P., Von deutscher Kolonial und JVeltpolitik. Berlin, 1907. 
Descharmes, P., Compagnies et societes coloniales allemandes. Paris, 

Dilthey, R., Die dcutsche Ansiedlungen in Sudbrasilicen, Uruguay, 

Argentiniccn. Berlin, 1882. 
Fabri, F., Bedarf Deutschland der Kolonieen? iGotha, 1879. 

, Fiinf Jahre deutscher Kolonialpolitik. Gotha, 1889. 

Frey, W., Gebt Uns Kolonieen. Chemnitz, 1881. 
Fritz, R., Zur Auswandcrungsfrage. Wien. 1879. 


Giordani, P., The German Colonial Empire. Translated from the 
Italian! by A. Hamilton. London, 1916. 

Grotewold, C, Die Parteieen des deutschen Reichstages. Leipzig, 1908. 

Grtinewald', N., IV ie kann Deutschland Kolonialbesitz erwerben? 
Mainz, 1879. 

Hausrath, A., Treitschke, His Life and Works. Translated from the 
German. London, 1914. 

Herrfurth, Kurt, Bismarck und die Kolonialpolitik. Geschichte des 
Fiirsten Bismarcks in Einzeldastellungen. Vol. 8. Berlin, 1909. 

Hiibbe-Schleiden, Deutsche Kolonisation. Hamburg, 1881. 

, Die Ethiopieen. Hamburg, 1879. 

, Kolonisationspolitik und Kolonisationstechnik . Hamburg, 1883. 

, Uberseeische Politik. Hamburg, 1881-1883. 

Kapp, F., Uber Kolonisation und Auswanderung. 1880. 

Keller, A., Beginnings of German Colonization. Reprinted from Yale 
Review, 1901. 

Keltie, J. S., The Partition of Africa. London, 1905. 

Klein-Hattingen, O. Geschichte des deutschen Liberalismus. 2 vols. 

Kobner, Otto, Einfiihrung in die Kolonialpolitik. Jena, 1908. 

Koschitzky, M., Deutsche Kolonialgeschichte. Leipzig, 1888. 

Lair, M., L'Imperialism allemande. Paris, 1914. 

Leroy-Beaulieu, P., Dc la colonisation chez les peuples modernes. 
Paris, 1908. 

Lewin, Evans, The Germans and Africa: Their Aims on the Dark 
Continent. London, 1915. 

Liesenberg, Wohin Auswandem oder Deutschland uber dem Meer. 
Berlin, 1881. 

List, Friedrich, National System of Political Economy. 1841. Trans- 
lated from the German by Lloyd, London, 1916. 

Livonius, Admiral, Unsere Flotte. Berlin, 1871. 

Loehnis, H, Die Europ'disclie Kolonieen. Bonn, 1881. 

Lowe, Charles, Prince Bismarck. 2 vols. London, 1885. 

Meyer, Hans, Das deutsche Kolonialreich. Leipzig, 1909. 

Moldenhauer, F., Eroterung uber Kolonialauswanderungszvesen. Frank- 
fort, 1878. 

Morris, H, History of Colonisation. 2 vols. 1908. 

Naumann, F., Die politischen Parteieen. Berlin, 1911, 

Oberlander, Deutsch-Afrika. Leipzig, 1885. 

Pelz, E., Katechismus der Auswanderung. Leipzig, 1881. 

Pierre- Alype, La Provocation allamande aux colonies. Paris, 1915. 

Poschinger, Heinrich, Fiirst Bismarck als Volkswirt. 2 vols. Berlin, 

, Fiirst Bismarck und die Parlementarier. Breslau, 1894. 


, Fiirst Bismarck und seine Hamburger Freunde. Hamburg, 1903. 

, V olkswirtschaftsliche Aktenstiicke des Fiirst ens Bismarck s. Ber- 
lin, 1890. 

Rehm, H., Deutschlnds politischen Parteieen. Jena, 1912. 

Roscher, W., and Jannarsch, R., Kolonieen, Kolonialpolitik und Aus- 
wanderung. Second edition. Leipzig, 1856. 

Salomann, F., Die deutsche Parteiprogramme. 1912. 

Samassa, P., Die Besiedlung Ost-Afrikas. Leipzig, 1909. 

Sander, S., Geschichte der Deutscher Siid-West Afrika Kolonialgesell- 
schaft. 191 1. 

Schippel, M., Das moderne Elend und die moderne Ubervolkung: Ein 
Wort gegen Kolonieen. Leipzig, 1883. 

Stegemann, R., Deutschland's Kolonialpolitik. Berlin, 1884. 

Stillich, O., Die politischen Parteien in Deutschland. 2 vols. 1910-1911. 

Tonnelat, E., L'Expansion allemande hors d'Europe. Paris, 1908. 

Treitschke, H., Politics. Berlin, 1898. Translated from the German by 
Dugdale and De Bille, London, 191 6. 

von Scherzer, K., Die deutsche Arbeit in fremden Erdtheilen. Leipzig, 

Wakeman, Capt., Report on Samoa to H. Webb, 1871. New York, 1872. 

Wagner, H., Uber Griindung Deutscher Kolonieen. Heidelberg, 1881. 

Wappaus, J., Deutsche Auswanderung und Kolonisation. Leipzig, 1846. 

Weber, E., Die Erweiterungen des Deutschen Wirtschaftsgebiets. Leip- 
zig, 1879. 

, Vier Jahre in Afrika. Berlin, 1879. 

Zaccharias, O., Die Bevolkerungsfrage in ihrer Beziehung su den Soci- 
alen N otstdnden der Gegenivart. Hirschberg, 1880. 

Zimmermann, Alfred, Die Geschichte der deutschen Kolonialpolitik. 
Berlin, 1914. 

Handbooks, Manuals, etc. 

Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. 

Annual Register. 

Conrad's Jahrbucher fur Nationokonomie und Statistik. 

Der Europaische Geschichtskalendcr. 

La Grande Encyclopedic. 

Meyers Konversation Lexikon. 

Srhmoller's lahrbuch. 

Periodicals and Newspapers 

Annales de I'ecole libre des sciences politiques. 
Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung. 
Die Neue Zeit. 
Deutsche Revue. 


Deutscher Rundschau. 

Deutsche Zeit und Streit Fragen. 

Deutscher Rundschau fur Geographic 


Geographische Zeitschrift. 


Hamburger Nachrichten, Vaterstddtische Blatter. 

Kolnische Zeitung. 

Leipzig Allgemeine Zeitung. 

Prussische Jahrbucher. 

Questions diplomatiques et coloniales. 

Sosiale Zeitfragen. 


Africa, East, 28, 32, 37, 38, 50, 171, 

Africa, South, 49, 50, 55 
Africa, Southwest, 34, 157, 165-6, 

169, 179, 183 
Africa, West, 38-9, 150, 159, 171, 

178, 184 
America, 25, 47-8, see United 

America, South, 13, 62, 137 
Angra Pequena, 157-8, 165, 167, 

178, 183, 188 
Anglo-French Convention, 156, 

Anglo- Portuguese Treaty, 164-5, 

Apia, 48, 66, 74, 114, 158 
Augsburge Allgemeine Zeitung, 

127, 138, 162 
Australia, 48, 162 

Bamberger, 81, 105, 111, 112, 121- 
4, 132, 174, 176 

Baring Bros., 114, 176 

Bismarck, 7, 17-8, 20, 47-9, 55, 57, 
62-3, 67, 74-5, 77-80, IOI-III, 
1 15-6, 118, 120-1, 124 128-9, 
131, 133, I5I-7. 160-3, 165-70, 
172-75, 177-80, 182, 184-87, 189- 

Brazil, 28, 42, 45, 49, 55 

Bremen, 37, 47, 107-8, 117, 121, 
127, 141, 159, 164, 180 See Hanse 

Brenner, R., 32, 50, 149 

Bucher, L., 19, 29, 63 

Biilow, von, 64, 72-3, 105, in, 112 

Briiggen, von der, 140 

Cape Colony, 166-7 

'Caroline Islands, 41 

Catholic Centre Party, 66, 101-3, 

105, 109, 124-5, 177, 192 
Centralvercin fur Handelsgeogra- 

phie etc., 51, 82, 90, 134, 137, 



China, 46, 48, 55-6, 81 

Coaling stations, 67-8, 71, set 

naval bases 
Cochin-China, 18, 40, 45, 47 
.Colonial Party, 76, 82, 09, 136, 148 
Congo Congress, 165, 185, 187 
Congress of Berlin, 80 
Conservative Party, 101-6, 109-10. 

119, 124-5, I73> 177 
Consuls, in Apia, 158, 162 
Consul, in Levuka, 57, 64 
Consul, in iSamoa, 17, 48, see 

Consuls, in Sydney, 51, 57, 162 

Der Export, 52, 83, 127 
Deutsche Handels-und-Plantagen- 

gesellschaft der Su-See-Inseln, 

113-4, H7, 150 
Deutsche Seehandhingsgcsells- 

chaft, lit;, n7 ) 121, 129 
Die Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft, 

Die Gcsellschaft fur Deutsche 

Kolonisation, 145, 614, 178 
Diskonto Company, no 
Droysen, 27 
Duke of York Islands, 71, 130, 150 

East India Company, 24-5 
Ellice Islands, 71 

Emigration, societies for, 30-1, 79 
Emigration, statistics, 42, 79, 89, 

England, 19, 37, 50, 56-8, 61-2, 

69-71, 74, 78, 89, 114, 132. 151-2, 

158, 161, 163-8, 180, 182, 185, 188- 

90, see Great Britain 
Explorers, 31-2 

Fabri, 34, 78, 86-7, 91-2, 94, 98, 

134, 137, 141, 143, 182 
Fiji Islands, 41, 47, 56, 62, 64, 70, 

79, 133 
Fijians, claims of, 57, 64 160-1, 






France, 18, 71, 7S-9, 133, 151* 158, 

164-5, 180, 185 
Frederick the First of Prussia, 25 
Frederick William the First, 25 
Friedel, Ernst, 29 

German African Society, 164 
Gladstone, W. E., 75, 190-1 
Godeffroy, House of, 39-41, 48, 

57-8, 107, in, 1 13-19, 122-5, 129, 

Godeffroy, Senator, 108, no 
Gold Coast, 24, 34, 39, 150, 159 
Great Britain, 88, 169, 183, 190- 1, 

see England 
Great Elector, 24-6, 146 
Guinea, 24-5 

Hamburg, 25, 36, 38-8, 41, 47, 86, 

107, 1 12-13, 117, 121-2, 127, 150, 

159, 164, 174, 179, see Hanse 


Hanse merchants, 23, 138, 164 

Hanse Towns, 36, 39, 103, 141, 

Hohenlohe-Langenberg, 120, 138- 

40, 142, 144 
Hiibbe-Schleiden, 86-90, 92, 94, 

96, 139, 141, 147, 153 

Imperialism, 61, 79-80 
Industrial Revolution, 15 
International Africa Association, 

Jannarsch, Dr., 83, 134 

Kameroon, 38, 87, 188-9, 191 
Kapp, Frederich, 19, 67, 95-6, 105 

Kersten, Otto. 32, 50, 52, 83 
Kolnische Zeitung, 114, 126, 147, 

Kolonialverein, 136-7, 139-45, T 49. 

152-4, 172-4 
Koloniabeitung, 144, 147 
Kiisserow, von, 61, 63, 73. 105, 

119, 154, 176. 180 

Lagos, 37 

Laissez-faire, 19, 28 
List, F., 19, 28-30 
Livonius, Admiral, 14-5, 19 
Liibeck, 37, 107, 141, 159. see 
Hanse Towns 

Liideritz, F. A. L., 7, 49,, 77, 150, 
1 57-8, 165-7, 169, 180 

Maltzan, von, 138-40, 144, 153 
Manchester School, 19, 75, 126 
Marshall Islands, 35, 71 
Meier, 46, 104, 122, 124, 141, 143 
Missionaries, 34, 39 
Missionary societies, 33-4 
Mosle, A. G., 45, 80-1, 104-5, 108- 

9, 120, 130, 133, 138, 149, 154, 


Nachtigall, Dr., 33, 178, 184 
National Liberal Party, 101-109, 

124, 133, 173, 177 
Navy, 14, 19 
Navy. Bill, 14 
Naval stations, 14, 28, 46, 67, 77, 

see coaling stations 
New Britain, 40-1, 71, 150, 158, 

179, 185, 187 
New Guinea, 35, 41, 47, 60, 130, 

162, 176, 184-5, 187, 189 
Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeit- 

ung, 29, 118, 125, 127, 176 
North Borneo, 35, 50-1, 55, 130, 

133, 150 
North German Confederation, »7, 

37, 40 
North German Lloyd, 46 

Oceania, 40, see South Seas 

Peters, Karl, 145 

Petitions, of merchants. 45, 47-8 

Portugal, 17, 164 

Portuguese, 23, 168 

Progressives, 102-05, 107, 122, 124, 


Propaganda, 47. 86, 95, 146 
Protective tariff, 75 
Protectorate. 28, 74 
Prussia, 7, 23-5, 32, 131 
Prussia, colonization, 23, 26, 146 

Ralick Islands, 71 

'Reichstag, 45, 66, 72, 77, 80, 101, 
104, 108, 110, 113, 116, 118, 120, 
124, 126, 128-34, 152, 155-6, 170- 
73, 176-7, 170-80, 183, 185, 188. 
190, 192 

Rholfs, 33, 142, 178 

Richter, 174, 180 

Roscher, 19, 30, 146 




Saigon, 45-6, 55, 104 

Samoa, 17, 40, 47-8, 55. 58, 60, 66, 

69-70, 74-s, 116, 124-6, 128, 171, 

see South Seas 
Samoan Islands, 35, 39 
Samoan Treaty, 60, 65, 69, 71-2, 

75, 77,82, 105, in 
Samoan Subsidy Bill, 113, 117-22, 

124-148, 150, 169, 171 
Socialists, 32, 102, 124, 133, 148, 

177, 182 
Society Islands, 71 
South Seas, 34, 40-1, 51, 55, 61, 

80, 107, in, 113, 115, 117, 123, 

127, 129-30, 150, 154, 155, 162-3, 

179, 184, see Samoa 
Spain, 48, 61-4, 67, 179 
Stanley, 33 
Steamship Subsidy Bill, 170-73, 

175-6, 183, 186-7, 192 
Steinberger, Colonel A. B., 58, 

60, 69 
Sturz, J. J., 28, 32 

Teutonic Knights, 23 
Togoland, 34, 39, 150, 178 
Tonga Islands, 42, 70, 132 

Tonga Treaty, 65-7, 69, 72, 77, 

104, in, 118, 171 
Treaty, Frankfort, 44"5, 47, 55 
Transvaal, 49-50, 77, 79, 184 
Treitschke, 27 

United States, 17, 19, 48, 56, 58, 
60, 62, 69-70, 74, 114, see Amer- 

Wagner, Adolph, 92 

Wagner, Herman, 19, 90, 92 

Wappaus, 19, 30 

Weber, E. von, 49, 90, 92, 94, 98, 

Weber, T., 17, 39-40, 48, 55, 69, 

West-Deutsch Verein, 86, 137, 143 
Wituland, Sultan of, 32, 149 
Woermann, firm of, 38, 49, 87, 

no, 138, 150, 158. 177, 180 

Zanzibar, 15 

Zanzibar, Sultan of, 37-8, 50, 55 

Zollverein, 37, 107 

Zulu, Islands, 61, 63, 67, 69 

Zulu, Sultan of, 18, 50-1 

' - 


University of Toronto 








Acme Library Card Pocket 

Under Pat. "Ref. Index File"